Cyclone Amphan, which ravaged eastern India and a few areas of Bangladesh, was a Category 5 tropical cyclone that occurred in May 2020. The catastrophic cyclone caused substantial damage in the Indian states of Odisha and West Bengal, along with Hatiara in Bangladesh. The damages caused by the Amphan Cyclone were estimated at USD 13 billion.
This cyclone was the costliest and deadliest to hit the Bay of Bengal Delta since 2007 and was a rare super cyclonic formation over the Bay of Bengal. We have shared more information about Cyclone Amphan here.
About Cyclone Amphan
Cyclone Amphan was the most powerful super cyclonic formation over the Bay of Bengal since the Odisha cyclone of 1999. It was the first super cyclone of the North Indian Ocean Cyclone Season 2020 and caused widespread damage. The development of low pressure over the Bay of Bengal caused Amphan.
The total casualty reported during the Amphan Cyclone was 128, but the cost of the total destruction caused by the cyclone was massive. Here, we have shared more details about the cyclone.
16 May 2020
21 May 2020
Worth USD 13 billion
India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Thailand, Myanmar, Bhutan
Cyclone Amphan Speed in Kolkata
Amphan Cyclone made landfall in West Bengal on 20 May,12:00 UTC. At the time, the sustained 1-minute speed of the cyclone was estimated to be 175 km/h. The great wind speed had many harmful effects. Although Cyclone Amphan weakened considerably once it hit the shores, it caused mass destruction to property.
The overall peak of the cyclone was on 18 May, when the sustained 1-minute wind speed reached 270 km/h. Cyclone Amphan was one of the strongest and deadliest cyclones to have hit the shores of India in a very long time.
Landfall of Amphan
Apart from incurring significant damage over Odisha and Bangladesh, Cyclone Amphan caused extreme damage in West Bengal. The areas constantly in the news for the damages caused by Amphan were North 24 Parganas, East Midnapore, Kolkata, South 24 Parganas, Howrah, and Hooghly.
Among the government agencies involved in the preparedness of the Amphan cyclone, the most important one was the National Crisis Management Committee. Due to careful planning, a lot of other casualties were averted during the cyclone.
Amphan Cyclone - Timeline
Here, we have shared the timeline of events about Cyclone Amphan that will help you understand what happened during the cyclone better -
- The super storm was conceived as a cyclonic storm over the Bay of Bengal before turning into an Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm (ESCS) and making landfall on 20 May between Digha (in West Bengal) and Hatiara (Bangladesh).
- After making landfall, North Odisha Coast was the most impacted, with wind intensity reaching 110-120mph. The wind intensity reached a maximum of 265 mph before weakening.
- Vishakhapatnam's Doppler Weather Radar was utilized to track the intensity of super Cyclone Amphan.
- The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) monitored the cyclone alongside the National Crisis Monitoring Committee, the Indian Meteorological Committee, and the Cabinet Committee on Security.
- The other Indian state impacted by Cyclone Amphan was Kerala, which faced heavy rainfall and was issued a yellow alert by the IMD.
- The causes of the Amphan included the formation of an area of low pressure over the Bay of Bengal about 1020 km to the southeast of Visakhapatnam. This, along with the warm sea temperature (between 32 to 34 degrees Centigrade), became responsible for causing the cyclonic storm.
- Amphan Cyclone, which took 40 hours to transform into a super cyclone, slowly lost its intensity on 21 May 2020. However, by this time, it had already wreaked severe damage, destroyed properties, and taken the lives of 128 people.
Cyclone Amphan - Cause
The super Cyclone Amphan originated during the cyclone season of the North Indian Ocean in May 2020. The cause of the cyclone was the development of a low pressure that disturbed the warm sea surface. It intensified and developed into a cyclonic storm in a duration of just 12 hours.
Cyclone Amphan travelled northwards towards the Bay of Bengal and made landfall on 16 May 2020, causing destruction all over. It affected parts of Odisha, West Bengal, and Bangladesh as well.
FAQs on Cyclone Amphan
Q.1. When did Cyclone Amphan occur?
Cyclone Amphan formed on 16 May 2020. This cyclone affected and damaged many parts of eastern India and other countries. Amphan Cyclone was categorized as a super tropical cyclone. It made landfall in India in May 2020 and caused widespread destruction.
Q2. Which country gave the name of Amphan Cyclone?
Thailand came up with the name ‘Amphan’ for the cyclone. The word Amphan came from the word “Um-pun”, which means the sky. Cyclone Amphan originated on 13 May 2020, 300km east of Colombo, Sri Lanka. The cyclone soon travelled towards the Bay of Bengal and made landfall.
Q3. Which places did Cyclone Amphan hit in India?
Amphan Cyclone hit several parts of Eastern India. It caused significant damage to Odisha, West Bengal, and many parts of Bangladesh. The areas that were most severely impacted were North 24 Parganas, East Midnapore, Kolkata, South 24 Parganas, Howrah, and Hooghly.
Q4. Which committees were involved in monitoring and tracking Cyclone Amphan?
The committees involved in tracking Amphan Cyclone were the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), National Crisis Monitoring Committee, Indian Meteorological Committee, and the Cabinet Committee on security. These committees helped in reducing the chance of damage as much as possible from Cyclone Amphan.
Q5. Which were the areas affected by Cyclone Amphan?
The areas that were affected by Cyclone Amphan were India (West Bengal, Odisha, Andaman Islands), Thailand, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Myanmar. However, the worst affected areas by Amphan cyclone were parts of eastern India, including North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas, Hooghly, Howrah, and Kolkata.