Weather Forecast Today, May 22: Cyclone Amphan has left a trail of destruction in coastal parts of West Bengal and Kolkata, with death toll rising to 72 on Thursday. Two teams from the Pune-based 5th Battalion of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) were airlifted on Thursday by an Air Force aircraft for deployment in West Bengal for evacuation, rescue and relief operations in areas hit by the cyclone.
The India Meteorological Department said that the cyclone moved east northeastwards and weakened into a severe cyclonic storm on Thursday night over Bangladesh. “It further weakened into a cyclonic storm over Bangladesh in the early hours (0230 hrs IST) of today,” the IMD’s press release read.
Odisha continued to assess the damage caused by cyclone Amphan on Thursday even as it put into effect relief and rescue measures. While officials said there has been some electrical and agricultural damage, the impact is much milder than in the neighbouring West Bengal.
While there are reports that three people, including a two-month-old, were killed in cyclone- related incidents, there has been no official confirmation so far. In a meeting with Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, Odisha Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy “thanked IMD for their accurate prediction about path and intensity of the cyclone; and, said that it helped Odisha in making advance preparations”.
The residents of Kolkata woke up to scenes of destruction due to the cyclone on Thursday. Over 5,000 trees, hundreds of lamp posts and traffic signals were uprooted. Due to heavy rain, several areas were inundated and there was no power supply in some areas.
At the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International airport, two hangars and a small private aircraft have been damaged. A portion of the airport was inundated.
“Two unused dilapidated hangars collapsed. The airport became operational from noon. We will be operating cargo, evacuation and emergency flights. People engaged in maintenance work are working round the clock to repair the damage,” a senior airport official told The Indian Express.
The weather department gave warning of light to moderate rainfall over Assam and Meghalaya, while it warned of heavy rainfall over isolated places in Arunachal Pradesh.
IMD also gave out heatwave warning for Saurashtra and Kutch in Gujarat. The highest temperature on Thursday was reported from Khargone in West Madhya Pradesh. While Delhi recorded the hottest day of the season with the maximum temperature going up to 44.1 degrees Celsius, Vijayawada recorded the highest temperature of 46 degrees Celsius.
The IMD also warned of heatwave conditions over isolated pockets of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Vidarbha, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, north interior Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Karaikal. However, it gave no warning of extreme heatwave conditions.
According to the IMD, a heatwave is considered if maximum temperature of a station reaches at least 40°C or more for Plains, 37°C or more for coastal stations and at least 30°C or more for Hilly regions.
“This is the first heatwave of the current season covering such a large geographical area. Heatwave conditions will prevail till May 25,” said Anupam Kashyapi, head, weather department, IMD, Pune.
So far, during this summer, a short spell of heatwave conditions have prevailed in some isolated pockets of Gujarat, Kutch and Maharashtra.
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