SUNDAY, MAY 31, 2020
Cyclone Amphan
5/20/2020 7:00:00 PM
Type of postingPosting date:time ESTSummaryScenariosDownloads
Landfall 5/20/2020 7:00:00 PM 
Posting Date: 5/20/2020 7:00:00 PM
Cyclone Amphan made landfall at 3:30 p.m. local time (10:00 UTC) with 1-minute sustained wind speeds of 160-170 km/h (the equivalent of a Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale) 40 miles east of Digha, West Bengal, India, on May 20. ALERT™ subscribers can download similar stochastic event (SSE) IDs for this event from the Downloads tab. Compatible with Touchstone®, Touchstone Re™, and CATRADER®, the SSEs were selected based on event parameters (not industry losses) and should be used only for exposures in India.  

Amphan weakened from a Category 5-equivalent hurricane intensity on the Saffir-Simpson Scale when it was over the Bay of Bengal before it made landfall near Digha, West Bengal, and Hatiya Island in Bangladesh. The storm has brought heavy rains and high winds to many districts in Bengal, and to the capital city of Kolkata, as well as to districts in Odisha, including Puri, Khurda, Jagatsinghpur, Cuttack, Kendrapara, Jajpur, Ganjam, Ganjam, Bhadrak and Balasore.

The path of Amphan is close to that of 1970 Cyclone Bhola, which caused severe flooding in the Gangetic plains and delta. The Bengal coast includes the mangrove forests of the Sunderbans, which are low-lying islands; the coast’s arc shape and shallow coast topography tend to significantly amplify the effects of storm surge.


Given that Amphan made landfall at a stronger intensity than Bhola, its coastal impacts could be more severe; however, India is better prepared today than it was in 1970 for a strong storm. Yet the COVID-19 pandemic has complicated evacuation efforts. Although more than 430,000 people have been evacuated in West Bengal and Odisha, according to India's National Disaster Relief Force, cyclone shelters in West Bengal can only accommodate less than half the number they were built to shelter, down from 500,000 to 200,000 people because of social distancing rules. In Odisha, emergency services also have a difficult balancing act to strike between saving people’s lives during the storm and the pandemic, evacuating people only when it is deemed essential and trying to keep the elderly and pregnant women apart from others in evacuation shelters.

Early Damage Reports

There are widespread power outages in the area of landfall. In the east Kolkata district of Tangra, uprooted trees and electricity poles have blocked roads and brought traffic to a halt; several shops in the district have also been reported damaged.

Two people have been reported killed in North 24 Parganas district in West Bengal, and more than 5,200 homes there have been reported damaged in the Minakhan, Haroa, Basirhat Hingalgunj, and Hasnabad areas.

Cyclone Amphan
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