The cyclonic storm 'Amphan' is rapidly strengthening in the Bay of Bengal as it tracks toward India, Bangladesh and Myanmar, posing a serious threat to one of the world's most vulnerable populations to cyclones.
Cyclone Amphan over the Southeast Bay and adjoining Southwest Bay moved towards the north-westwards over the same area and was centred about 1345km south-southwest of Chattogram port, 1280km south-southwest of Cox's Bazar port, 1275km south-southwest of Mongla port And 1255Km South-Southwest of Payra Port as of 6am today, according to the special weather bulletin issued by Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD).
It is likely to intensify further and move in a north-westerly direction, said the bulletin.
Maritime ports of Chattogram, Cox's Bazar, Mongla and Payra have been advised to hoist local warning signal no 4, said Meteorologist Md Monowar Hossain.
The local cautionary signal no 4 refers that the port is threatened by a storm but it does not appear that the danger is as yet sufficiently great to justify extreme precaution.
When asked about the possible threat from the cyclone like serious storm surge, heavy rain and wind, the meteorologist said, "It can be said later clearly."
However, depending on where the cyclone makes landfall, significant storm surge is possible, which could be destructive and Bangladesh is particularly vulnerable to dangerous storm surge flooding, according to The Weather Channel report.
The report said, atmospheric conditions are favorable for development and sea-surface temperatures are very warm. Therefore, Amphan is becoming a hurricane strength system, but could become a major hurricane equivalent system by early Tuesday (May 19).
As the cyclone approaches the coast on Tuesday night, strong winds, very rough sea conditions, storm surge and heavy rain are likely across the India's Odisha and West Bengal coasts.
Winds near hurricane force are possible, especially in areas closer to where the center of the storm tracks.
The Indian Meteorological Department has issued an orange alert to both Odisha and Gangetic West Bengal (South Bengal). The alert urges the residents to be prepared for gale winds and very heavy rainfall.
Sailors and fisherman in Bangladesh have been told not to venture into the Indian Ocean. Bangladesh Met office also advised all fishing boats and trawlers over north bay and deep sea not to venture into the deep sea and come close to the coast and proceed with caution till further notice.
The name Amphan is suggested by Thailand and will be the last name from the original list of 64 cyclone names proposed back in September 2004 for storms over the north Indian Ocean.