UN commends India
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has expressed sadness over the loss of lives and destruction in India and Bangladesh by Cyclone Amphan and commended the governments, first responders and communities for their “pre-emptive” work to help people and ensure their safety. The Secretary-General is saddened by the loss of lives and destruction as a result of Cyclone Amphan in India and Bangladesh. He extends his deep condolences to those who have lost their loved ones and wishes those injured and affected by the disaster a speedy recovery, UN Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said on 24 May 2020.
- Guterres commended the governments, first responders and communities for their “pre-emptive work to make people safe ahead of the storm and to meet their immediate needs afterwards, saying the UN stands ready to support these efforts.
- The Secretary-General expressed solidarity with the people of India and Bangladesh as they face the impact of a devastating cyclone while also responding to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced an advance interim assistance of Rs 1,000 crore for cyclone-hit West Bengal on 22 May 2020.
- Modi also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh to the families of each of those killed during the devastation caused by cyclone Amphan, and Rs 50,000 for the injured.
- The UN Country Team in India said Cyclone Amphan, which ravaged areas in West Bengal, was considered more destructive than Cyclone Aila, which slammed the region in May 2009.
- Amphan hit seven districts badly, namely South 24 Paraganas, North 24 Paraganas, East Medinipur, West Medinipur, Howrah, Hooghly and Kolkata, with damages also reported in the district of Birbhum.
- Modi announced an advance financial assistance of Rs 500 crore for cyclone-battered Odisha. He made the announcement after an aerial survey of areas hit by cyclone 'Amphan' and holding a review meeting with Odisha Governor Ganeshi Lal and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
- Super Cyclonic Storm Amphan was a very powerful and deadly tropical cyclone that caused widespread damage in East India and Bangladesh in May 2020.
- It was the strongest tropical cyclone to strike the Ganges Delta since Sidr of the 2007 season and the first super cyclonic storm to occur in the Bay of Bengal since the 1999 Odisha cyclone.
- Causing over US$13 billion of damage, Amphan is also the costliest cyclone ever recorded in the North Indian Ocean, surpassing the record held by Cyclone Nargis of 2008.
- 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).
- 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).
- 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.