Although the cyclone storm would form over the south Bay of Bengal, it would move northwestwards towards Indian mainland till Sunday.
Cyclone watch in India: Cyclone Amphan warning has been issued to Odisha, West Bengal! After the India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued a statement informing about the early onset of monsoon over Andaman and Nicobar Islands due to low pressure cyclonic conditions, the IMD has now dispatched an alert to the states about a brewing Cyclone Amphan. Post the dispatch, Odisha Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy chaired a high-level meeting on Friday to review the state’s preparedness for the cyclone, according to news agency ANI. Meanwhile, the IMD has revised the expected date for onset of monsoon in Kerala, pushing back the date to June 5, instead of the earlier expected June 1.
The dispatch alerted of the likely intensification of the low pressure area into a cyclone storm by the evening of May 16, i.e., Saturday. Although the cyclone storm would form over the south Bay of Bengal, it would move northwestwards towards Indian mainland till Sunday, before changing its direction towards north Bay of Bengal, heading north-northeastwards over Monday and Tuesday.
With this, the IMD announced that while monsoon would hit Andaman and Nicobar Islands and heavy rainfalls would start on the islands on Friday and Saturday, it also warned of light to moderate rainfalls with heavy rainfalls at some places in Odisha on May 18 and of heavy to very heavy rainfalls over the state on May 19.
Moreover, the warning also alerts of moderate rains over West Bengal on May 19 and heavy rains over the state on May 20. Andhra Pradesh is also likely to be hit by the cyclone storm on May 18, according to the IMD statement.
Apart from that, southern states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka are already on a watch warning as these states are the first ones to be hit by the onset of monsoon.
While Kerala is under immense pressure regarding the incoming monsoon due to the floods hitting the state over the past two years, the state can breathe a sigh of relief after the predicted delay of onset of monsoon, giving it more time to ensure that it is prepared for any eventualities.
On the other hand, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh are hit by cyclones almost every year, with the Cyclone Gaja affecting the states in 2018 and Cyclone Fani in 2019. However, that also means that the states are prepared to take required measures against the cyclone storm, if it hits. Similar is the case with Odisha and West Bengal, both of which were hit by a cyclone as late as November last year when Cyclone Bulbul caused heavy rains and flash floods in its wake. However, since both the states had managed to contain the impact of cyclone in terms of loss of lives, it can be expected that they would up their preparedness and deal with Cyclone Amphan effectively if it hits.