An extremely severe cyclone packing winds of up to 100 kmph roared into West Bengal Wednesday, dumping heavy rain and leaving a trail of destruction that left at least two people dead, officials said.
After making landfall at 2.30 p.m. between Digha in West Bengal and and Hatiya island in Bangladesh, cyclone Amphan cut a swathe through the coastal areas, flattening fragile dwellings, uprooting trees and electric poles. At least 6.58 lakh people were evacuated in West Bengal and Odisha before the cyclone struck.
Two women were killed in Howrah district and Minakhan area of North 24 Parganas district due to uprooting of trees, an official said.
Catch all the highlights from the day here:
10:11PM: NDRF has deployed its 39 self-contained rescue & relief teams in coastal areas of West Bengal & Odisha in view of Cyclonic Storm Amphan. As many as 20 NDRF teams are deployed in the coastal areas of Odisha: Public Relations, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF)
9:45PM: Power cuts have been reported in some areas of Kolkata following heavy rain and strong winds due to Amphan.
9:30PM: Amphan crossed as a very severe cyclonic storm. While crossing its wind speed was 155-165 kmph gusting to 185 kmph. Now it's located 35 km northeast of Sagar island (West Bengal),70 km south of Kolkata,95 km east-northeast of Digha: HR Biswas,Director of IMD Bhubaneswar (Odisha.
9:26PM: 5500 houses damaged, 2 persons dead and 2 severely injured in North 24 Parganas, as per 7 pm report by Bibek Vasme, Sub-Divisional Officer (SDO) Basirhat.
8:20PM: Parts of coastal Andhra Pradesh received rains accompanied by strong winds while the sea was rough with storm surge under the impact of super cyclone 'Amphan' which made landfall in West Bengal.
7:15 PM: The storm will reach Kolkata in all its fury later in the evening and winds blowing at 110-120 kmph, and gusting at 135 kmph, coupled with downpour, will batter the capital city, IMD said.
7:10 PM: Two women were killed in Howrah district and Minakhan area of North 24 Parganas district due to uprooting of trees, an official said.
6:43 PM: Cyclone Amphan claims two lives in West Bengal: Officials
6:40 PM: The cyclone has battered through the coastal areas of the two states, flattening fragile dwellings, uprooting trees and electric poles, and forcing evacuation of over 6.58 lakh people.
5:29PM: Around one million people have been evacuated from Bangladesh coastal region in the run-up to Cyclone Amphan, which is expected to hit the country's coast later today.
5:04PM: Wind speed in Kolkata and adjoining districts likely to be 110-120 kmph; Damage expected: IMD DG on Cyclone Amphan.
4:47PM: South and North 24 Parganas to witness lull as eye of cyclone passes through, but heavy rains, strong winds will resume in 30 minutes: IMD.
FIrefighters clear road blockage after a tree uprooted due to heavy winds and rain ahead of cyclone 'Amphan' landfall.
4:38PM: NDRF has deployed 20 teams in Odisha; 19 deployed in West Bengal, 2 in standby in state, says DG SN Pradhan.
4:37PM: First arm of Cyclone Amphan has touched land; Eye of cyclone is expected to touch land anytime now, says IMD DG.
4:36PM: Strong winds have commenced in coastal West Bengal; We are getting reports that wind speed could be around 160 kmph: IMD DG.
4:30PM: Cyclone Amphan: Over 5 lakh people in WB and over 1.58 lakh people in Odisha evacuated as per data from state govts, says DG NDRF.
4:28PM: Cyclone Amphan will reach near Kolkata by Wednesday evening, says IMD DG.
4:24PM: Cyclone Amphan is currently entering West Bengal coast near Sunderbans, says IMD.
4:14PM: Watch: Outlook's Sandeep Sahu brings you the latest updates on cyclone Amphan from Odisha. Extremely severe cyclone 'Amphan' cyclone is expected to cross Odisha coast at 4pm. It is likely to move north-northeastwards across northwest Bay of Bengal and cross the coast of West Bengal. Watch the full explainer here to understand the future course of cyclone Amphan.
4:09PM: A three-month old child was reportedly killed and his mother injured after a wall collapse in Bhadrak, Odisha as extremely severe cyclone 'Amphan' hurtled towards east coast, triggering heavy rains and strong winds in parts of Odisha and West Bengal. Read full story here.
3:44PM: Landfall process of extremely severe cyclone 'Amphan' commenced at 2.30 pm, to continue for four hours: IMD.
2:30 PM: All flyovers and elevated corridors were closed for vehicular traffic in Kolkata in view of the approaching 'extremely heavy cyclonic storm' Amphan. Its landfall is expected between afternoon and evening.
2:20 PM: Cyclone Amphan to move north-northeastwards and cross West Bengal-Bangladesh coast between Digha and Hatiya close to Sunderbans during late afternoon to evening hours of today (1600 hours IST onwards) with a wind speed of 155-165 kmph gusting to 185 kmph: IMD
1:55 PM: Cyclone Amphan centered at 12:30 pm as an extremely severe cyclonic storm over northwest Bay of Bengal about 95 km south-southeast of Digha, West Bengal: Indian Meteorological Department
1:38 PM: Cyclone Amphan expected to cross Odisha coast around 4 pm. Landfall near Sundarbans to be around 6 pm, says IMD
1:30 PM: The AC Special Express train which left for New Delhi from Bhubaneswar on Wednesday will run on a diverted route skipping the Bhadrak-Kharagpr line, while goods traffic was affected in Odisha because of the cyclone 'Amphan', officials said.
1:00 PM: Wind speed reached a maximum of 106 kmph in Paradeep; it is 87 kmph at present. Paradeep received 25 cm of rain. Rain in most of south and central coast in Odisha has been continuing through the night
11:40 AM: "Cyclone Amphan lies 177km south southeast of Digha. After landfall, it is likely to move north northeast close to Kolkata. At the time of crossing coast, wind speed to be around 155-165kmph. It is likely to retain intensity as cyclone till May 21 morning": Deputy Director, IMD Kolkata
10:50 AM: All operations suspended at Kolkata Airport till 5 am tomorrow in view of cyclone Amphan including special flights, which were operational in view of Covid-19 pandemic.
10:45 AM: Indian Coast Guard ships and aircraft are kept at stand by for deployment to undertake area scan, search and rescue and relief efforts
10:30 AM: The next six to eight hours are going to be crucial as Cyclone Amphan is likely to make landfall near Sunderbans in West Bengal, according to Special Relief Commissioner, Odisha.
10:15 AM: The departure of Howrah-New Delhi AC Special Express for Wednesday has been cancelled owing to the super cyclone 'Amphan', the Eastern Railway said.