The authorities in West Bengal suspended all operations at Kolkata airport till 5 am on Thursday in the wake of Cyclone Amphan which is hurtling towards the east Indian coast. It is expected to make the landfall between West Bengal and Bangladesh on Wednesday afternoon.
Kolkata is one of the cities which will be affected by the movement of the cyclone. The other districts in West Bengal which will bear the brunt of the cyclone are Hooghly, North and South 24 Parganas.
The cyclone will also impact Odisha badly and around 10 districts will be severely impacted. Authorities have evacuated 4.2 million people from low-lying areas in these two states.
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At 6.30 am on Wednesday, the cyclone lay centred 125 kilometre away from Odisha. Some cities in the state have started receiving rainfall as the cyclone approaches. Paradip is witnessing high winds too.
The cyclone is packing winds gusting to a speed of 185 kmph. It had turned into Super Cyclone on Tuesday, but its intensity has decreased marginally and will make the landfall as extremely severe cyclonic storm. According to glossary of Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), an extremely severe cyclonic storm carries wind speed of between 167 kmph and 221 kmph; a storm is classified as a super cyclone when wind speeds exceed 222 kmph.
Amphan had been billed as the most intense cyclone in the Bay of Bengal since a 1999 storm devastated Odisha, killing around 9,000 people.
The storm surge is expected to be 4 to 6 metres above the astronomical tide in parts of West Bengal, flooding low lying areas in the three districts when it makes landfall. Wind speeds in Kolkata, Hooghly and Howrah are likely to range between 110 kmph and 120 kmph, gusting to 130 kmph.