India and Bangladesh brace for the strongest storm ever recorded in the Bay of Bengal

Meatpie

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Millions of people in India and Bangladesh are in the path of a super cyclone which is due to make landfall in less than 36 hours, bringing damaging winds and heavy rain to a region already struggling with the coronavirus pandemic.

Super Cyclone Amphan became the strongest storm ever recorded in the Bay of Bengal on Monday night, after intensifying with sustained wind speeds of up to 270 kilometers per hour (165 miles per hours), according to data from the US Joint Typhoon Warning Center.
Amphan has weakened slightly since, but the storm is still the equivalent of a strong Category 4 Atlantic hurricane, or a super typhoon in the West Pacific, with winds speeds up to 240 kph (150 mph).

The US Pacific Disaster Center (PDC) said up to 33.6 million people in India could potentially be exposed to the storm's winds, while a maximum of 5.3 million could be exposed in Bangladesh. The PDC's estimate is based on data from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

 

Meatpie

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Cyclone Amphan has made landfall in eastern India and Bangladesh, killing at least 15 people as it lashed coastal areas with ferocious wind and rain.

Trees were uprooted and homes toppled in both countries, including in the Indian city of Kolkata in West Bengal.

Nearly three million people were evacuated - most of them in Bangladesh - before the severe storm hit.



Coronavirus restrictions have been hampering emergency and relief efforts.

Covid-19 and social-distancing measures have made mass evacuations more difficult for authorities, with shelters unable to be used to full capacity.

The storm is the first super cyclone to form in the Bay of Bengal since 1999. Though its winds have now weakened, it is still classified as a very severe cyclone.
 
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