Wednesday 20 May 2020
Millions have been evacuated and aid agencies are on high alert as powerful Cyclone Amphan moves closer to India and Bangladesh.
The cyclone, which briefly reached category 5 “super” status on Tuesday while tracking north across the Bay of Bengal, is expected to make landfall in India’s easternmost state of Odisha overnight Wednesday, likely as a category 1 storm.
According to the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System
(GDACS), powerful winds and heavy rainfall are expected, while low-lying coastal areas will be at risk of a storm surge up to 2.2 meters.
Evacuation efforts have been complicated by COVID-19, with many evacuation centres already being used as isolation and quarantine facilities.
Bidisha Pillai, CEO, Save the Children in India said:
“This is one of the most powerful cyclones we’ve faced in India in many years, and I am particularly concerned about those communities in low-lying areas. Mass evacuations have been taking place in recent hours and days, however, this is made all the more complex by COVID-19 and efforts to enforce social distancing.
“Save the Children has long history responding to disasters across India and we stand ready to work with the government and respond as required.”