Cyclone ‘Amphan’, which battered West Bengal before heading towards Bangladesh, has killed at least 72 people in the state, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Thursday. Out of the total 72 deaths, 15 of them were from Kolkata, the Chief Minister said.
”72 people have died in West Bengal so far. I have never seen such a disaster before. I will ask PM Modi to visit the state and see the situation,” West Bengal Chief Minister said. She also announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh for those killed in the state due to Cyclone Amphan.
The West Bengal Chief Minister, who has been monitoring the situation at state secretariat Nabanna since Tuesday night, said the impact of Amphan was “worse than coronavirus”.
The cyclone ravaged Kolkata and several parts of West Bengal as it left behind a trail of destruction by uprooting trees, destroying thousands of homes and swamping low-lying areas of the state. The cyclone barrelled through coastal districts of North and South 24 Paraganas of Bengal, unleashing copious rain and windstorm, blowing away thatched houses, uprooting trees, electric poles and swamping low lying towns and villages, the officials said.
As per reports, over 5,000 houses were destroyed in North 24 Parganas alone, while many trees lay uprooted and infrastructure damaged in Kolkata. The mobile and internet services were also down as the cyclone had damaged several communication towers. Streets and homes in low lying areas of Kolkata were swamped with rainwater.
The Ministry of Home Affairs will be sending teams to carry out an early assessment of damages and submit a report, the Union Government said on Thursday.
On Wednesday, the cyclone made landfall at 2.30 PM between Digha in West Bengal and Hatiya island in Bangladesh, flattening fragile dwellings, uprooting trees and electric poles.
The Cyclone ‘Amphan’ started crossing the Bangladesh coast around 5 pm on Wednesday packing a wind speed of around 160 to 180-kph rising to 200-kph within 80-km of its center, meteorologist Abdul Mannan said.
Officials believe that the world’s largest mangrove forest, shared both by India and Bangladesh, Sundarbans absorbed the major impact of the killer storm. The Cyclone Amphan also wreaked havoc in Bangladesh, killing at least 10 people, devastating coastal villages, inundating many areas, and damaging scores of houses, officials said on Thursday.
Cyclone ‘Amphan’, the strongest to hit the region in nearly two decades, was the most powerful storm since Cyclone ‘Sidr’ killed nearly 3,500 people in 2007.
The cyclone is likely to move further in a north-northeasterly direction and weaken gradually, the Bangladesh Meteorological Department has said. Bangladesh shifted over 20 lakh people to storm shelters and deployed the military to deal with the powerful cyclone.
Leading global storm tracker AccuWeather had on Tuesday described Amphan as the first super cyclone in the Bay of Bengal since 1999.