In view of the impending cyclone 20 teams of Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF), 17 Teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and 335 units of State Fire and Disaster Management have been directed to be in readiness to be pressed into service.
Maximum sustained wind speed within 64 km of the severe cyclone centre is about 89 kph rising to 117 kph in gusts/squalls, it said.
Cyclonic storm "Amphan" (pronounced as UM-PUN) is moving over southeast Bay of Bengal and neighbourhood and has been turning north-northwestwards with a speed of six kmph over past six hours, the home ministry said on Sunday.
Pradhan said seven teams of the force have been deployed in West Bengal.
While moderate to heavy rainfall has been predicted along the coastal areas of Bengal, Kolkata could receive heavy showers next Wednesday, accompanied by wind blowing at a speed of 70km/hr.
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It is very likely to move almost northwards by Monday and then re-curve north-northeastwards across Northwest Bay of Bengal and cross West Bengal-Bangladesh coasts between Sagar Islands (West Bengal) and Hatiya Islands (Bangladesh) during the afternoon or evening of May 20 as a very severe cyclonic storm, the official said.
Further, 10 other teams have been deployed in seven districts of Odisha. These teams are in six districts - South 24 Parganas, North 24 Parganas, East Midnapore, West Midnapore, Howrah and Hooghly.
Odisha was also hit by cyclone "Bulbul" in October, 2019. It will be a hard task to maintain social distancing while evacuating and sheltering the affected population. There will be heavy rainfall at some places over Balasore, Bhadrak, Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar districts on these two days, it said.
"Fishermen are advised not to venture into south Bay of Bengal from May 16-17, to central Bay of Bengal from May 17-18 and north Bay of Bengal during May 19-20". The trains will travel on diverted route via Bhubaneswar-Angul-Sambalpur City-Jharsuguda-Rourkela-Tata route, bypassing Bhadrak-Balasore-Hijli track during the period.
During a video conference with Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, Odisha chief secretary A K Tripathy made a request to temporarily suspend "Shramik Special" trains passing through areas in the state that are likely to be affected by the cyclone.
This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.