Director of METC informs Sikkim on Cyclone Amphan: “There is no need to panic”


The year 2020 has been unfortunate, to say the least; there isn’t much explanation as to say why. The pandemic, followed by the lockdown, with a multitude of infections and deaths rising every day, has brought about an atmosphere of fear in the world. Speaking of atmosphere, the super cyclone Amphan has had people in distress since the India Meteorological Department (IMD) declared a cyclone alert for the Indian coastline across the Bay of Bengal. Due to the formation of a low-pressure area over the southeast Bay of Bengal and adjoining south Andaman sea, this alert was first issued, soon naming the super cyclone as Cyclone Amphan. 

“It is very likely to move north-northeastwards across the northwest Bay of Bengal and cross West Bengal–Bangladesh coasts between Digha (West Bengal) and Hatiya Islands (Bangladesh) close to the Sundarbans during the afternoon/evening of 20th May 2020 with maximum sustained wind speed of 155-165 kmph gusting to 185 kmph,” the Ministry of Earth Sciences informed in a press statement.

Sikkimese people have particularly feared these announcements, as various meteorological departments issued pictures of the trajectory of Amphan, which seemed to be in close proximity with the state, with which Sikkim was also kept in the Red Zone for a short while. Statements from the officials also have indicated that the super cyclone might have meteorological effects on the state and the news hasn’t been received level headedly throughout most of Sikkim.

Sensing the unrest and working to discover facts, Sikkim Chronicle spoke with G.N. Raha, Director of MET Center, Gangtok. Raha informed that there wouldn’t be any direct impact from the already formed super cyclone over the Bay of Bengal.

“The already formed Super Cyclone won’t have any direct impacts in Sikkim but it will have some indirect effects in the state,” says Raha.

“As soon as the super cyclone impacts the West Bengal – Bangladesh coasts between Digha and Hatiya, on May 20th, in Sikkim the wind speed might raise. We are expecting widespread rainfall activities all over Sikkim tomorrow and day after tomorrow, along with that wind speeds might rise to 30-40 km/ph along with some thunderstorm activities.”

Raha also informed that the MET department has also forecasted heavy rainfall in some isolated areas in East and North district. The department is expecting this to only last for a couple of days, i.e., Wednesday and Thursday, after which the meteorological event is likely to move away.

“Sikkim is in a yellow zone, and the MET department issues a different forecast for Sikkim rather than IMD, so that might have been the issue, but Sikkim has always been in a yellow zone for us,” says Raha.

He adds, “There’s no need be concerned very much, there will be some moderate rainfall (in an average throughout the state), some thunderstorms and some windy situation, throughout the next two days.”

“There is no need to panic,” concludes Raha with an affirmative chuckle.

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