India is battling the coronavirus pandemic, making West Bengal and Odisha's task of managing Amphan doubly difficult.
The powerful storm is expected to make landfall on Wednesday afternoon, and forecasters are warning of extensive damage from high winds, heavy rainfall, tidal waves and some flooding in crowded cities like Kolkata.
In view of cyclone Amphan, all operations at Kolkata airport, including special flights, have been suspended till 5 am on Thursday.
Indian Coast Guard ships and aircraft have been kept on stand by for deployment to undertake area scan, search and rescue and relief efforts.
India Meteorological Department (IMD) stated that cyclone Amphan will "move north-northeastwards and cross West Bengal-Bangladesh coast between Digha and Hatiya close to Sunderbans during afternoon to evening today with a wind speed of 155-165 kmph gusting to 185 kmph.
West Bengal has deployed 15 state disaster relief force force (SDRF) teams and Odisha has deployed 20 teams of Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force. People already evacuated in West Bengal stands at three lakh while Odisha expects to evacuate 1.1 million people.
Both states have already set up control rooms and emergency helpline numbers. Temporary shelters have been put up which have been sanitized and provisions for baby food, masks, sanitisers have been provided for. People housing those temporary shelters will also undergo thermal screening. People watch as waves crash along the shore ahead of cyclone 'Amphan' landfall, in Balasore district. Photo: PTI