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Super cyclone Amphan to sweep over Bangladesh, India

Christian Fernsby ▼ | May 20, 2020
A rapidly intensifying super cyclone is moving across the Bay of Bengal and will likely sweep over coastal areas along the India-Bangladesh border by Wednesday evening, affecting millions of people, according to the meteorology departments of both countries.
Super cyclone Amphan
Bangladesh   Super cyclone Amphan
The tropical cyclone known as Amphan has strengthened with maximum sustained winds of 265 kilometers (165 miles) per hour, which is equivalent to a super typhoon or a Category 5 hurricane.

Topics: Cyclone Amphan Bangladesh India

It will hit at a time when both countries are struggling with the novel coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed a combined total of more than 3,500 lives from over 124,000 confirmed cases.

“We have been combatting natural disasters for decades in the South Asia belt and we are accustomed to it. But the case this year is totally different, as we are already fighting the global pandemic,” said Shah Kamal, secretary of Bangladesh’s Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief.

Amphan is the strongest tropical cyclone to occur in the Bay of Bengal and its probable landfall around the Ganges River Delta will threaten millions in northeast India and Bangladesh.

According to a local expert, the cyclone is capable of inflicting catastrophic damage in a heavily populated, low-lying area that has seen staggeringly high death tolls in past storms.

Kamal said 19 coastal districts out of 64 in Bangladesh will be affected by the cyclone.

"Thirteen of them will be severely affected,” he said.

“We have prepared over 12,000 shelters, more than double that in previous years, to shift over 2 million people, maintaining social distancing and other COVID-19 health guidelines,” he said, adding the use of masks by all is a must.

Urging people not to be afraid, he assured that everyone will be provided with dry food along with other essential items until the storm is over.