Tropical cyclone Amphan (Bay of Bengal) could become one of the most intense Category 5 on record in the North Indian Ocean A “Super Cyclonic Storm” – the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir Simpson scale is intensifying in the Bay of Bengal and is expected to smash into the coastal waters of Eastern India and Bangladesh tomorrow.
According to WMO, Tropical Cyclone Amphan (pronounced Um-Pun) is on track for densely populated areas at a time when restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic is complicating disaster management – and making it more necessary than ever before. The Indian Meteorological Department in New Delhi, which acts as WMO’s Regional Specialized Meteorological Centre for Tropical Cyclones, warned of a storm surge of about 4-5 meters above astronomical tide that is likely to inundate low-lying areas of West Bengal during landfall, and of about 3-4 meters for Bangladesh.
It said Amphan would make landfall with a maximum sustained wind speed of 155-165 km/hour, gusting to 185 km/hour. Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting to review the response preparedness and the evacuation plan presented by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF). The tropical cyclone season in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea has two peaks, around May and around November and, in the past, the basin witnessed huge casualties.
The deadliest tropical cyclone on record, the Great Bhola Cyclone in November 1970, killed at least 300,000 people in modern-day Bangladesh and led to the establishment in 1972, of a body in charge of the regional coordination mechanism for tropical cyclones, the WMO/ESCAP Panel on Tropical Cyclones Extensive and coordinated disaster risk reduction campaigns have, in recent years, limited casualties.
Hurricanes and Cyclones 2020
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