India and Bangladesh are preparing for the strongest storm ever recorded in the Bay of Bengal, writes CNN. Element threatens millions of people and will come down to the shore in less than 36 hours, bringing with it torrential rains.
Supercycle Ampan was the strongest storm ever recorded in the Bay of Bengal, on Monday evening, may 18, after amplification, a wind speed of 270 kilometers per hour, according to the joint center for the prevention of typhoons of the United States.
Since then, Ampan a little weak, but the storm still is the equivalent of the Atlantic hurricane 3 category with wind speeds up to 185 km/h.
Pacific disaster centre USA (PDC) stated that up to 33.6 million people in India may be exposed to storm winds, while in Bangladesh may be affected 5.3 million people. Evaluation of PDC based on data from the joint center warning of typhoons.
The Bay of Bengal in the North-Eastern part of the Indian ocean located between India in the West and Northwest, Bangladesh to the North and Myanmar in the East.
Ampan is only the second supercyclone that hit the Bay of Bengal since the appearance of any records of the weather phenomena. During the last supercyclone in 1999, affecting almost 15,000 villages and nearly 10,000 people were killed.
The cyclone should reach the land on the border of India and Bangladesh on Wednesday evening, may 20, about the Indian city of Calcutta, home to more than 14 million people.
In India EN masse to evacuate residents
Indian officials said that up to 300,000 people in the coastal areas of West Bengal and Odishi are in immediate danger from the area of the storm. According to the Ministry of internal Affairs of the country in the region is carried out the evacuation.
Satya Narayan Pradhan, Director General of the National forces to assist in natural disasters (NDRF), said that in the state of West Bengal, usually there are places in shelters from cyclones at 500 000 people, but because of the rules of social distancing during the epidemic of the coronavirus that number dropped to 200,000.
According to him, was organized a few buses, but many will go to the disaster shelter on foot.
Pradhan added that the areas under the threat of a cyclone, are poorly developed, many rural residents live in temporary houses with thatched or tin roofs.
“It will all be in the line of fire,” he said.
In Bangladesh, Junior Minister for disaster management, Inamur Rahman said that the government plans to transport about 2 million people from coastal areas in more than 12,000 shelters from cyclones.
According to a senior information representative of the Ministry of disaster management Bangladesh Selim Hossain, 9.1 million people can place sheltered from cyclones while maintaining social distance.
The Director General of NDRF India Pradhan had earlier said that 25 teams of NDRF were deployed in the region, another 12 ready in reserve, and 24 other teams are also standby at various parts of India.
The meteorological Department of India has warned fishermen to remain on shore and not out to sea over the next 24 hours.
“I pray for everyone’s safety and assure in all possible support from the Central government,” said Prime Minister Narendra modi.
The storm in the background of the pandemic coronavirus
The storm began at a time when India and Bangladesh are fighting for control of local outbreaks of coronavirus. According to the Johns Hopkins University, may 18, in India there were more than 100,000 confirmed cases of infection, the biggest splash of the day, which amounted to 5242 new cases.
The number of infected in Bangladesh is growing rapidly, may 17, there were more than 1300 new cases of the disease, which is the largest growth. In total, the country recorded 23 870 confirmed cases.
The resolution of the situation with two disasters at the same time would be problematic for the governments of the two countries, especially if they try to maintain social distance in a crowded evacuation centers and shelters for emergency situations.
“(All employees NDRF) must be in disguise, everyone should wear a visor, gloves… Almost certainly they will carry out rescue operations in the red (highly contaminated) areas… They can actually save people who are already infected. It’s a double challenge,” said Director General of NDRF Pradhan.
Pradeep Jena, Commissioner of emergency situations in the Indian state of Odisha, said that the emergency services have to balance saving lives from cyclone, and from the coronavirus.
“We need to find a balance and to evacuate people only where this is essential, otherwise people will be better in their own homes,” he said.
In evacuation centers, said that trying to separate the elderly and pregnant women from all other people in the shelters.
“Social distancing, of course, is a very good concept, but its strict application in an emergency situation is not always possible,” said Ian.
Cyclone Ampan can also bring torrential rains in the world’s largest refugee camp in Cox’s Bazaar in Bangladesh after fleeing violence in the Myanmar state of Rakhine is home to almost 1 million refugees Rohingya.
The first known cases Covid-19 were confirmed in the camp last week, and with the approaching storm, the two disasters can lead to devastating combinations.
One human rights activist said that the new outbreak of coronavirus in the camp will be a “nightmare scenario”.
“The prevalence of poor health among refugees and the deterioration of sanitary conditions that will occur in connection with the impending monsoon season and floods, contribute to the creation of a number of conditions in which the virus definitely will thrive,” said Daniel Sullivan, who works for the American organization Refugees International.