The met office says Cyclone Amphan could intensify into a Severe Cyclonic Storm within 12 hours over central parts of South Bay of Bengal.
Well, the cyclone comes at a time when the country is already grappling with the coronavirus pandemic.
The NDRF said that it was ready to undertake massive evacuation of 1.1 million people likely to be hit by it.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has directed officials to prepare a plan for relocating people living in vulnerable areas to safer places along with an early restoration of water supply and power infrastructure. The state has set a zero casualty target.
As the storm rolls in towards the Indian shores ominously, the cyclone is likely to unleash heavy rain and high-velocity winds in large swathes of coastal Odisha, West Bengal and Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
Twelve coastal Odisha districts — Ganjam, Gajapti, Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Jajpur, Cuttack, Khorda and Nayagarh — are on high alert
IMD also warned that the high-velocity winds may cause extensive damage to mud houses and partial damage to 'pucca' structures.
The winds may also lead to bending or uprooting of power and communication poles, minor disruption of railways and may affect overhead power lines and signalling systems and also cause widespread damage to standing crops, plantations, orchards, the IMD said.
To review arising cyclone situation, PM Narendra Modi to chair high-level meeting with MHA, NDMA at 4 pm Monday.
IMD Director General Mrutyunjay Mohapatra said that northern parts of Odisha are likely to be more affected due to the cyclone.
Coastal districts like Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak and Balasore are likely to experience heavy rainfall accompanied by high-velocity winds, particularly on May 19 and 20, he said.
West Bengal Home Secretary Alapan Bandopdhyay said the entire state machinery was prepared to deal with the situation. Disaster management teams are being sent to cyclone shelters in coastal areas, and other places likely to be affected.
Around 50 boats of fishermen have been damaged in Rameswaram following the thunderstorm and rainfall which hit parts of the state last night.
The Odisha government urged the Centre to temporarily suspend running of 'Shramik Special' trains to the state's coastal districts in view of the impending cyclonic storm
The cyclone is likely to cross West Bengal-Bangladesh coasts between Sagar Islands in Bengal and Hatiya islands in Bangladesh on May 20 as a very severe cyclonic storm, Regional MeT Director in Kolkata G K Das said.
Seven NDRF teams have been deployed in six districts of West Bengal - South 24 Parganas, North 24 Parganas, East Midnapore, West Midnapore, Howrah and Hooghly. According to Ministry of Home Affairs, the cyclone will make a landfall in West Bengal on Wednesday.
Odisha has managed cyclonic storms better since a super cyclone in October 1999 killed almost ten thousand people.
In Odisha, 10 NDRF teams have been deployed in seven districts. 15 ODRAF units have also been pre-positioned in the coastal districts of the state. One team of NDRF consists of around 45 personnel.
About the large number of migrants returning to Odisha from other states, many of them on foot, personnel at border checkposts have been asked to take appropriate steps keeping the cyclone situation in mind.