Cyclone Amphan: Shah speaks to Odisha CM, assures help

New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday held separate telephonic conversation with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik over cyclone ‘Amphan’ as it is expected to create widespread damage in these states, while crossing the coastal area on May 20.

Shah took stock of preparations in both the states while talking to the Chief Ministers of these states and assured to provide all Central assistance, a Home Ministry official said.

The Union Home Minister offered all requisite help to the West Bengal Chief Minister during a telephonic conversation with her.

After reviewing the preparedness in Odisha, Shah reiterated that the Central government is ready for any support to the state.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Tuesday issued a fresh cyclone alert for West Bengal and north Odisha coasts as an extremely severe cyclonic storm ‘Amphan’ was over the central parts of the South Bay of Bengal and adjoining central Bay of Bengal. It is expected to cross between Digha and Hatia in Bangladesh close to the Sundarbans on May 20.

The weather agency has issued an orange alert for coastal West Bengal and Odisha, where it said widespread damage is expected. The super cyclone Amphan is now being continuously tracked by the Doppler Weather Radar (DWR) at Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh).

Amphan is expected to make the biggest impact in South and North 24 Parganas and East Medinipur districts of West Bengal. Keeping in view the conditions, the IMD has advised a complete shutdown of shipping and boating activities in the vulnerable parts of West Bengal and Odisha till May 20.

Rerouting or shutting down of rail and road traffic is also advised in the areas in the wake of cyclone conditions. To provide instant help in West Bengal, a total of 19 teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) are deployed, and four teams are on standby. In Odisha, 13 teams are deployed and 17 are on standby.


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