Amphan Cyclone - Facts about Amphan for UPSC

Amphan is a super tropical cyclone that originated from the Bay of Bengal in May 2020. It is considered the first super cyclonic storm in the Bay of Bengal since the 1999 Odisha cyclone. It is a part of the North Indian Ocean Cyclone Season. The Indian states of West Bengal and Odisha, and the country of Bangladesh were hit by Amphan as a ‘very severe cyclonic storm.’

The National Crisis Management Committee was in charge to review the preparedness for the impending cyclone Amphan.

At the national level, National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) and Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) are the key committees involved in the top-level decision-making related to Disaster Management.

This article will mention the important facts about Amphan which will be useful for the Geography syllabus (GS-I) of the IAS Exam.

Facts about Cyclone Amphan

The following are the key facts about the Amphan cyclone as they form part of current affairs for the UPSC exam (a major section from where questions are asked):

  1. Thailand has given the name of the cyclone – Amphan, which is pronounced as ‘UM-PUN’.
  2. Amphan formed over the Bay of Bengal as a tropical cyclone and later intensified into a ‘Very Severe Cyclonic Storm’ (VSCS) to ‘Extreme Severe Cyclonic Storm (ESCS)’.
  3. It is made landfall between Digha (West Bengal) and Hathiya islands (Bangladesh) on May 20.
  4. The regions of East Midnapore, North and South 24 Parganas, Howrah, Hooghly, and West Midnapore were affected by the heavy rainfall.
  5. North Odisha Coast faced the maximum impact after Amphan makes landfall with the wind speed of 110-120 mph.
  6. The range of wind speed of Amphan reached up to 230-265 mph before it weakens in intensity.
  7. Doppler Weather Radar (DWR) at Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) was used to track the cyclone Amphan.
  8. After the Phailin cyclone that had hit the Bengal-Odisha coast in 2013, Amphan is said to be the strongest tropical cyclone to hit the coast.
  9. The trajectory of Amphan was towards West Bengal and Bangladesh and it made landfall as a severe storm at:
    1. West Bengal – Sagar Island
    2. Bangladesh – Hatiya Island
  10. National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is a specialized authority constituted under the Disaster Management Act 2005. It was monitoring Amphan with the parallel monitoring by:
    1. National Crisis Monitoring Committee (Constituted by the Government of India, to meet the exigencies of natural calamities.)
    2. Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS)
    3. Indian Meteorological Committee (IMD)
  11. The other Indian States those were impacted by Amphan were:
    1. Kerala – Heavy rainfall; Yellow Alert has been issued

There are important topics in relation to Amphan, which aspirants can read from the links mentioned in the table below:

Aspirants can refer to our Comprehensive News Analysis (CNA) of all important issues in news for UPSC.

Amphan and Important Regions for UPSC

With the cyclone Amphan, a few cities and islands have been in the news which IAS aspirants should know about as questions can be asked from these:

Odisha West Bengal Bangladesh
  • Paradip Coast
  • Bhadrak
  • Jagatsinghpur
  • Kendrapada
  • Balasore
  • East Midnapore, South 24-Parganas and North 24-Parganas
  • Digha Island
  • Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port Trust (SPMPT)
  • Howrah
  • Hooghly
  • Kolkata of Gangetic West Bengal
  • Hatiya Island

Amphan Cyclone – UPSC Notes:-Download PDF Here

Frequently asked Questions about the Amphan Cyclone

Why is Amphan considered a super cyclone?

Amphan took 40 hours after its formation to become a super cyclone. The main reason behind this was the high sea surface temperatures of 32-34 degrees celsius in the Bay of Bengal. General long-term warming of the Bay of Bengal was the leading cause of rapid intensification, according to experts.

Which areas were affected by the Amphan Cyclone?

Amphan Cyclone caused widespread damage in Eastern India, specifically West Bengal, Odisha and in Bangladesh in May 2020. It was the strongest tropical cyclone to strike the Ganges Delta since Sidr of the 2007 season and the first super cyclonic storm to have formed in the Bay of Bengal since the 1999 Odisha cyclone.

Candidates can refer to Geography notes for other such important topics.

UPSC Preparation:

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