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In news:

The West Bengal coast braces for the super cyclone Amphan that has formed in the Bay of Bengal. The super-cyclone Amphan is predicted to fade into an extremely strong cyclonic storm as it soars towards the West Begal coast. The Met Department cautioned against very heavy to extremely heavy rainfall over the northern coast of Odisha and eastern West Bengal. The speed of the storm can be up to 275 Kmph.


It will cross the West Bengal-Bangladesh coasts between Digha in West Bengal and Hatiya in Bangladesh.

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What are the threats:

  • The Met department has issued an orange alert for West Bengal and warned of extensive damage in Kolkata, Hooghly, Howarh, South and North 24 Parganas and East Midnapore districts.
  • The IMD warns of extensive damage to all types of kutcha houses, and some damage to ‘pucca’ structures as a result of the cyclone. 
  • It has also warned of extensive uprooting of communication and power poles, disruption of rail or road link at several places and damage to standing crops, plantations and orchards.

Any such super cyclones in the past:

  • On October 29, 1999, a super cyclone with a wind speed of 300 mph had struck Odisha, making it probably the greatest cyclonic disaster ever recorded in the last century.
  • The super cyclone centred over coastal areas of Odisha for three days was accompanied by torrential rain as a tidal surge of about 7 to 10 metre that swept more than 20 km inland.

What was the impact then:

The official death toll then was 9,885 people. An estimated 1,500 children were orphaned. Of the total casualty, Jagatsinghpur district alone had accounted for 8,119 people.