New Delhi: Soon after the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) predicted that the cyclone Amphan has intensified into a super cyclone, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) on Monday said with the addition of 20 more teams, it has enhanced its strength to a total of 37 teams to combat the challenge amid the coronavirus pandemic.Also Read - Cyclone Amphan: Odisha Says Will Have to Evacuate 50,000-60,000 People
Speaking to news agency PTI, NDRF Director General SN Pradhan said the force is fully geared with all the equipment and paraphernalia to face the developing situation which the IMD has said will turn into a very severe cyclonic storm by this evening and continue to be so for some time. Also Read - Cyclone Amphan Alert: MeT Says it Intensifies Into Severe Cyclonic Storm, NDRF Deploys 17 Teams in Odisha, West Bengal
“A total of 37 teams have been deployed by NDRF in West Bengal and Odisha, out of which 20 teams are actively deployed and 17 are on standby in the two states,” Pradhan said. in a video message. Also Read - Cyclone Amphan Alert: Odisha Urges Centre to Suspend 'Shramik Specials' For 3 Days, More NDRF Teams Deployed in Bengal
Issuing the prediction, the IMD said that cyclone Amphan has intensified into a super cyclone and is likely to cross West Bengal and Bangladesh coasts on May 20 as a very severe cyclonic storm.
“It (cyclone ‘Amphan’) is a dual challenge as the cyclone is striking in time of Covid-19 and (hence) we are facing a double challenge so to say,” Pradhan said.
On Sunday, the NDRF had earmarked 17 teams for the task. A single NDRF team has a strength of about 45 personnel.
The NDRF said it has deployed its forces in seven districts of Odisha and in six districts of West Bengal.
“The awareness drive being undertaken by NDRF teams in these areas is accordingly tailored to inform the locals about the cyclone and also the coronavirus,” he said, adding, “We are coordinating with local administrations for active evacuation from possible affected areas.”
The Union Home Ministry in its latest update has said that the cyclone ‘Amphan’ is likely to have a wind speed up to 185 km per hour on Wednesday.
Issuing an advisory to West Bengal and Odisha governments, the MHA said ‘Amphan’ was spotted on Monday morning over the central parts of South Bay of Bengal and the adjoining central Bay of Bengal.
To review the situation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair a high-level meeting on Monday afternoon with officials.