Dhaka: Cyclone Amphan has made a landfall and it is crossing the West Bengal- Bangladesh Coast east of Sagar Island.
According to the latest special weather bulletin of the Met Department of Bangladesh issued around 7.30 p.m., the cyclone currently lies over the coastal West Bengal and Sundarbans on the Bangladeshi coast after making a landfall around 4 p.m. in West Bengal.
It is likely to move in a north-northeasterly direction further and complete crossing the coast within the next three to four hours.
Maximum wind speed within 74 kilometres of the cyclone centre is about 160 kilometres per hour (kmph) rising to 180 kmph in gusts.
The Met department warned that low-lying areas of coastal districts of Satkhira, Khulna, Bagherhat, Bhola, Barisal, Noakhali, Chattogram among others and their off shore islands are likely to be inundated by storm surge of 10-15 feet height above normal astronomical tide.
These areas are also likely to experience wind speed up to 140-160 kilometres per hour with heavy to very heavy rainfall during the passage of the storm.
The Met department has instructed all the boats and trawlers over the North bay and deep sea to take shelter immediately and not venture into the sea till further notice.
Mongla and Payara ports are hoisting the highest level of danger signal 10 which signifies Great Danger. The Chattogram and Cox’s bazar are hoisting great danger signal number 9.
The great danger signals from 8 to 10 signify identical danger but differ only based on the direction of the approaching cyclone.
Ahead of the coming of the Amphan cyclone, the government said that it has evacuated more than two million people to safety from the vulnerable areas.
State Minister for Disaster Management Enamur Rahman told a virtual media briefing in the afternoon today that close to 24 lakh people have been moved to safety along with over half a million cattle.
He said that number of cyclone shelters was also increased from 12,078 to 14,336 in 19 coastal districts of Southern Bangladesh.
Even before the Amphan cyclone hit the country, there are reports of houses being washed away due to heavy rush of water in Patuakhali district as surge of tide broke a coastal embankment.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Air Force has kept six transport aircraft and 29 helicopters to conduct disaster management operations after the cyclone Amphan.