cyclone Amphan to hit coastal areas from afternoon

Delhi:  Cyclone Amphan, one of the worst storms over the Bay of Bengal in years, is likely to hit Bengal this evening. Amphan weakened from a super cyclone to an “extremely severe cyclonic storm” on Tuesday, causing strong winds and heavy rain in parts of Odisha and Bengal as it advanced towards the Indian coast. More than four lakh people have been evacuated to safety in the both the states. Officials anticipate massive destruction when the cyclone strikes; Amphan is expected to pack winds gusting up to 185 kilometres per hour when it crosses West Bengal’s Digha and Hatiya island of Bangladesh where around 20 million have been moved to over 12,000 shelters. Amphan is only the second “super cyclone” to form in the northeastern Indian Ocean since records began. Indian Navy is on “high alert” on the east coast for relief efforts, an official statement said.