Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has said that the cyclone Amphan, has now developed into a super cyclone with its landfall on the coastal areas of West Bengal, Bangladesh and coastal Orissa. ‘Amphan’ as the name of this cyclone, has been suggested by Thailand as per the guidelines of WMO.
A super cyclone can generate super high winds at the speed of approximately 240 kilometres per hour causing enormous life and property damages in the affected areas. During its landfall, a super cyclone produces heavy rainfall and generates high-speed winds which can lead to storm surge. Tropical cyclones, that are generally categorised as super cyclones can cause extensive damage to crops, the livelihood of fishermen, electric poles, uprooting of trees, damaging the infrastructure near the coastal areas, and the biodiversity in the region.
The cyclone formation in the Bay of Bengal can primarily be seen in two seasons, either during pre-monsoon (between April to June) or during post-monsoon (between October to December. According to the historical data, a majority of these cyclones are formed during the post-monsoon season, but the ones formed during the pre-monsoon season have been more destructive comparatively.
In order to deal with the current Amphan cyclone, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has come up with cyclones specific guidelines and policies for its management. As per these policies, the highest priority has been given to the prevention and mitigation measures as a part of the pre-disaster phase. According to these guidelines, issued by NDMA, the best mitigation strategy to minimise the loss of lives is to build adequate cyclone shelters and put in place effective and efficient evacuation plans. As soon as warnings are received from the IMD, the local authorities are responsible for executing these evacuation plans with the support of the state and central authorities.
The authorities in West Bengal and Orissa, especially in the coastal districts are now simultaneously dealing with the triple challenge caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the crisis created by the migrant workers, and the super cyclone Amphan.