All flight operations at Kolkata Airport have been suspended till 5 AM on Thursday, in the wake of cyclone Amphan, which is likely to make landfall by noon today. According to the Airport Director, all special flights that were operational in view of the coronavirus outbreak have also been restricted till tomorrow morning. Meanwhile, the departure of Howrah-New Delhi AC Special Express for Wednesday has also been cancelled, owing to the super cyclone 'Amphan', the Eastern Railway said.
It said that since the system is most likely to cause heavy rain and storm, the departure of 02301 Howrah-New Delhi AC Special Express on Wednesday and 02302 New Delhi-Howrah AC Special Express on May 21 would remain cancelled.
The Met department in an advisory asked for stoppage or diversion of train movements owing to damage likely to be caused by the super cyclonic storm.
Cyclone 'Amphan' lay centered about 240 km south of Digha in West Bengal on Wednesday morning as an extremely severe cyclonic storm, the Met department said.
The intensity near the centre of the storm was 170 to 180 kmph gusting to 200 kmph, the Met said.
'Amphan' is very likely to move north-northeastwards and cross West Bengal-Bangladesh coast between Digha and Hatiya, close to the Sunderbans during the afternoon to the evening of Wednesday with a wind speed of 155 to 165 kmph gusting to 185 kmph as a 'very severe cyclonic storm', the Met department said.
West Bengal has evacuated more than three lakh people to safer places as the cyclonic storm 'Amphan' roared towards the coastal areas of the state, officials said.
The Met department, which has issued an "orange message" for West Bengal, warned of extensive damage in Kolkata, Hooghly, Howrah, South and North 24 Parganas and East Midnapore districts.
The Met department has advised that all establishments and markets remain closed in Kolkata and adjoining areas and movement of people be restricted on May 20.
There is likely to be disruption of rail and road links at several places, uprooting of communication and power poles, extensive damage to all types of 'kutcha' houses and some damage to "old badly managed pucca" structures and the potential threat from flying objects, the weatherman warned.