Cyclone Amphan, one of the worst storms over the Bay of Bengal in years, battered West Bengal capital today at 2.30 pm between the State's Digha and Bangladesh's Hatiya Island, unleashing heavy rain and high-speed winds leaving a trail of destruction behind.
More than five lakh people were taken to shelters in West Bengal, and more than one lakh in Odisha, a press briefing by the National Disaster Response Force (NRDF) chief said today.
Winds over 100 kmph hit Kolkata and nearby areas accompanied by heavy rain as Cyclone Amphan made landfall in the direction of Sunderbans, a marshy region.
Intense rainfall has also been recorded in several areas of the Odisha districts of Puri, Khurda, Jagatsinghpur, Cuttack, Kendrapara, Jajpur, Ganjam, Bhadrak, and Balasore.
Two women were reportedly killed in Howrah district and Minakhan district of North 24 Parganas district in West Bengal due to trees being rooted as Cyclone Amphan entered West Bengal.
The cyclone swept through the coastal districts of West Bengal; citizens shared several videos and photos taken from their homes, showing the impact of the cyclone. Unleashingcopious rain and windstorms, parked cars crashed into each other due to the powerful winds, blowing bare houses, uprooting trees and electric poles, swamping low lying towns and villages.
Nineteen National Disaster Response Force teams were deployed in West Bengal because of the approached cyclone.
Chief Wildlife Officer Ravi Kant Sinha said a control room had been set up in Gosaba to monitor the situation in the mangrove forest around the clock.
According to IMD, the severe cyclonic storm will reach Assam and Meghalaya on May 21, and bring heavy to very heavy rainfall in these two northeastern districts.
Also Read: Amphan: How did this super-cyclone get its name
Since records began, Cyclone Amphan is only the second "super cyclone" to form over the Bay of Bengal and the first since 1999. A super cyclone struck Odisha in 1999 which left almost 10,000 dead.