Extremely severe cyclonic storm ‘Amphan’ roared into West Bengal-Bangladesh coasts at 2.30 pm on Wednesday between Digha in WB and Hatiya island in BD, unleashing heavy rain and high-velocity winds that left a trail of destruction. The cyclone started crossing West Bangal-Bangladesh Coast east of Sagar Island at about 4 pm and lay over coastal West Bengal and Bangladesh Coast (Sundarbans area). It was likely to move in a northeasterly direction and was about cross the coast by about 8 pm, according to the forecast made by the Bangladesh Meteorological Department.
Maximum sustained wind speed within74 kilometre of the cyclone centre was about 160 kilometres per hour rising to 180 kph in gusts or squalls. The sea in the adjoining areas of North Bay remained rough.
A report from Khulna says – trees and electric poles have been uprooted by the storm. In some places, vehicular movements have been halted as fallen trees block roads. Many houses and infrastructures have also been damaged. The power supply has been also cut off.
Besides, several embankments in Uttar Bedkashi, Dakshin Bedkashi unions of Koyra, Pikegachha, Dakope Upazila have been inundated and collapsed due to tidal surge caused by the cyclone.
Amphan, the first super cyclone to form in the area since 1999, has been forecast to cause storm surges, severe flooding and mudslides.
The Indian Met Office said Amphan crossed West Bengal-Bangladesh coast between Digha (West Bengal) and Hatiya Islands (Bangladesh) across Sundarbans between 3:30 pm and 5:30 pm IST with wind speed of 155-165 kph gusting to 185 kph.
Bangladesh Red Crescent said one of its volunteers helping villagers to evacuate became the first fatality after the boat he was in capsized in strong winds. Meanwhile, a child died in Patuakhal’s Galachipa after a tree branch fell on him during the storm.
The maritime ports of Mongla and Payra were advised to hoist great danger signal number 10 while Chattogram and Cox’s Bazar have been advised to hoist great danger signal number 9.
The coastal districts of Satkhira, Khulna, Bagerhat, Jhalakati, Pirojpur, Barguna, Patuakhali, Bhola, Barishal, Laxmipur, Chandpur and their offshore islands and chars were to come under great danger signal number No 10.
Coastal districts of Noakhali, Feni, Chattogram and Cox’s Bazar their offshore islands and chars will come under great danger signal number No 9.
Under the influence of the cyclone and the end day of last quarter moon, the low-lying areas of the coastal districts of Satkhira, Khulna, Bagerhat, Jhalakati, Pirojpur, Barguna, Patuakhali, Bhola, Barishal, Laxmipur, Chandpur, Noakhali, Feni, Chattogram and their offshore islands and chars were likely to be inundated by storm surge of 10-15 feet height above normal astronomical tide.
The coastal districts of Satkhira, Khulna, Bagerhat, Jhalakati, Pirojpur, Barguna, Patuakhali, Bhola, Barishal, Laxmipur, Chandpur, Noakhali, Feni, Chattogram and their offshore islands and chars were likely to experience wind speed up to 140-160 kph in gusts/ squalls with heavy to very heavy falls during the passage of the cyclone.
All fishing boats and trawlers over North Bay and deep sea were advised to take shelter immediately and will remain in shelter till further notice.