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India recently got very badly affected by a cyclone named Amphan. Also known as Super Cyclonic Storm Amphan, this powerful and deadly tropical cyclone caused widespread damage in East India and Bangladesh. A Cyclone is a system of winds rotating inwards to an area of low barometric pressure, with an anticlockwise (northern hemisphere) or clockwise (southern hemisphere) circulation. And what’s a Tropical Cyclone? Well! It’s a localized, very intense low-pressure wind system, forming over tropical oceans and with winds of hurricane force. In this article, we’ll be covering all the important details of Amphan cyclone which you should be updated with.

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Why is a Cyclone called so?

Whether it’s a cyclone, typhoon or hurricane, it all depends on the location where they appear. Hurricanes are tropical storms that form over the North Atlantic Ocean and Northeast Pacific. Cyclones are formed over the South Pacific and Indian Ocean and Typhoons are formed over the Northwest Pacific Ocean. Another interesting fact is that Amphan is a tropical cyclone and these tropical storms last a long time and are given names so they can be identified quickly. At most places, the first storm of a year will have a name beginning with A, such as Hurricane Alice, and the next one gets a name beginning with B. Amphan is pronounced as Um-Pun and means the Sky. The name was given by Thailand in 2004.

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Super Cyclonic Storm Amphan- Details

Amphan is a very powerful tropical cyclone which has caused extensive damage to East India and Bangladesh. It is the strongest tropical cyclone to strike the Ganges Delta since Cyclone Sidr of the 2007 season and the first super cyclonic storm to occur in the Bay of Bengal since the 1999 Odisha cyclone.

Origin of Super Cyclonic Storm Amphan

The first tropical cyclone of the 2020 North Indian Ocean cyclone season, Amphan originated from a low-pressure area persisting a couple hundred miles (300 km) east of Colombo, Sri Lanka, on 13 May 2020. Tracking northeastward, the disturbance organized over exceptionally warm sea surface temperatures; the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) upgraded the system to a tropical depression on 15 May while the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) followed suit the following day. On 17 May, Amphan underwent rapid intensification and became an extremely severe cyclonic storm within 12 hours.

It was on May 13 that an area of low pressure developed over the Southeastern Bay of Bengal about 1020 km (635 mi) to the southeast of Visakhapatnam in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. On 16 May, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) reported that the area of low pressure had developed into a depression and designated it as BOB 01 while it was located about 1,100 km (685 mi) to the south of Paradip in the Indian state of Odisha. On 17 May, conditions for significant intensification became more conducive as upper-level winds improved. On May 18, at around 5:30 p.m. IST, Amphan made landfall near Bakkhali, West Bengal with winds of 155 km/h and as it moved further inland, it rapidly weakened.

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Super Cyclonic Storm Amphan- Important Facts & Updates

  • Wind Speed of Amphan when it made the landfall – 155-165 km/h
  • Wind Speed in Kolkata when it made landfall around 1430 hours on May 20– 80-90 km/h
  • Max. Wind speed in Alipore Kolkata- 112 km/h, Dum Dum Airport- 133 km/h
  • PM Modi announced a 1000 crore INR interim relief fund for Amphan hit West Bengal.
  • Families who lost their loved ones in the cyclone will get 2 lakh INR while the ones injured will get 50,000/- INR.
  • Amphan cyclone has now weakened over North Bangladesh and is very likely to fall into a low-pressure area.
  • Doppler Weather Radar (DWR) at Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) is used to track the cyclone Amphan.
  • After the Phailin cyclone that had hit the Bengal-Odisha coast in 2013, Amphan is said to be the strongest tropical cyclone to hit the coast.
  • National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is a specialized authority constituted under the Disaster Management Act 2005. It is monitoring Amphan with the parallel monitoring by National Crisis Monitoring Committee (Constituted by the Government of India, to meet the exigencies of natural calamities.), Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) & Indian Meteorological Committee (IMD).

We hope that the above information is useful in your preparation.

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