India and Bangladesh Begin Mass Evacuations as Cyclone Amphan Approaches

India and Bangladesh have begun mass evacuations as the countries brace for the arrival of Cyclone Amphan later in the week. The storm is potentially the most powerful to hit in more than a decade.

The cyclone is expected to make landfall between the two countries on May 20, bringing storm surges and winds of up to 185 km/h.

In India, regional governments in Odisha and West Bengal are planning to evacuate more than a million people, a task made more complicated by the coronavirus pandemic, and the mass movement of migrant workers that has followed India’s lockdown.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) said it had deployed 25 teams in Odisha and West Bengal, with 12 further teams on standby.

Videos shared by the Press Information Bureau show these teams in West Bengal and Odisha encouraging people to evacuate their homes and move to cyclone shelters while adhering to social distancing measures. Credit: Press Information Bureau via Storyful