Cyclone Amphan, one of the worst storms over the Bay of Bengal in years, has started making landfall in West Bengal towards Sunderbans, a marshy region famous for its mangroves.
The India Meteorological Department or IMD said the landfall process began at 2:30 pm and will continue for four hours.
Over five lakh people have been taken to shelters in West Bengal and over one lakh in Odisha, the National Disaster Response Force (NRDF) chief said today in a press briefing.
The cyclone will reach Kolkata this evening. East Midnapore and North 24 Parganas in West Bengal are seeing heavy rain.
The wind speed could be from 110-120 km per when it reaches Howrah, Kolkata and Hoogli, a senior IMD official told reporters.
Amphan weakened from a super cyclone to an "extremely severe cyclonic storm" on Tuesday, causing strong winds and heavy rain in parts of Odisha and Bengal as it advanced towards the Indian coast.
BDST: 1745 HRS, MAY 20, 2020