Cyclone 'Amphan' intensified into a super cyclonic storm on 18 May 2020 and is likely to move across the northeast Bay of Bengal, and cross the West Bengal and Bangladesh coasts between Digha and the Hatia island on May 20, the IMD said. "Amphan" (pronounced UM-PN) that had turned into an extremely severe cyclonic storm gathered more strength over the Bay of Bengal while moving slowly towards the coast. It has now intensified further into a super cyclonic storm, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
  1. It is likely to move north-northeastwards and fast across the northwest Bay of Bengal, and cross the West Bengal and Bangladesh coasts between Digha and the Hatia island as a very severe cyclonic storm.
  2. This has raised the likelihood of heavy rains and high-velocity winds in coastal Odisha and the state government has initiated the process of evacuating people from the vulnerable areas. 
  3. The NDRF chief said the coming cyclone is a 'serious' one as it is only the second time after 1999 in Odisha that a storm hitting the country's coast has been categorised as a 'super cyclone'.
Only third pre-monsoon super cyclone in 30 years
  1. Extremely severe cyclone Amphan (pronounced as Um-Pun) over the central parts of the South Bay and adjoining Central Bay of Bengal has spun into a class-topping super cyclone after howling winds around its core broke the threshold speeds. 
  2. According to IMD’s classification of storms based on intensity, super cyclone is an intense low-pressure system represented on a synoptic chart by more than four closed isobars (concentric circles) and in which the wind speed at surface level is 222 km/hr (category 4 or 5 as per Saffir-Simpson scale storm intensity).
  3. Amphan would be only the third super cyclone to form in the Bay after 1990, after the Andhra Pradesh super cyclone (May 4-9, 1990, no name) and the Bangladesh super cyclone (April 24-May 2, 1991, Gorky)
  4. The former had hit the Machilipatnam coast in Andhra Pradesh and claimed 967 deaths, while the latter rammed into Chittagong, Bangladesh, killing an estimated 1.38 lakh people.