72 dead as Super Cyclone Amphan devastates West Bengal

According to the weatherman, Amphan is the fiercest cyclone to hit the state in the last 100 years.


IMAGE: A two wheeler tries to pass under an uprooted tree lying across a road, in the aftermath of super cyclone Amphan, in Kolkata. Photograph: Swapan Mahapatra/PTI Photo

Kolkata and several other parts of West Bengal wore a battered look on Thursday after the extremely severe cyclone 'Amphan' ripped through the state, leaving 72 people dead and blowing away shanties, uprooting thousands of trees besides swamping low-lying areas.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Thursday that at least 72 people have died due to Cyclone Amphan and urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit the affected districts and provide help to 'rebuild those areas from scratch'.

The chief minister also announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh to Rs 2.5 lakh for the family members of each of the deceased.

IMAGE: A water-logged fuel station is pictured after Cyclone Amphan made its landfall, in Kolkata. Photograph: Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters

"So far as per the reports we have received, 72 people have died in the state due to Cyclone Amphan. Two districts -- North and South 24 Parganas are completely devastated. We have to rebuild those districts from scratch. I would urge the Central government to extend all help to the state," Banerjee said after conducting a review meeting with officials.
"I will visit the affected areas very soon. The restoration work will start soon. A large part of North and South 24 Parganas and Kolkata are facing massive power cut since last evening.

"Even telephone and mobile connections are down," she said.

IMAGE: A taxi damaged during Cyclone Amphan, in North 24 Parganas. Photograph: Ashok Bhaumik/PTI Photo

"I have never witnessed such a fierce cyclone and destruction in my life. I would request Prime Minister Narendra Modi to come and visit Cyclone Amphan-affected areas," Banerjee said.
Large parts of Kolkata and other affected districts were without electricity as power poles had been blown away.

Mobile and internet services were also down as the cyclone had damaged several communication towers

IMAGE: Locals clearing an uprooted tree from the Ranaghat-Krishnagar state highway road, in the aftermath of super cyclone Amphan, near Taherpur in Nadia. Photograph: PTI Photo

Senior state officials said it was too early to estimate a toll on life or damage to property as the hardest hit areas were still not accessible.
According to the weatherman, Amphan is the fiercest cyclone to hit the state in the last 100 years.
Packing heavy rain and winds with speeds of up to 190 kmph, the cyclone slammed Digha coast of West Bengal at 2.30 pm on Wednesday, triggering heavy rainfall in various parts of the state. 

IMAGE: A man salvages his belongings from the rubble of a damaged shop after Cyclone Amphan made its landfall, in South 24 Parganas district in the eastern state of West Bengal. Photograph: Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters

Banerjee, who has been monitoring the situation at state secretariat Nabanna since Tuesday night, said the impact of Amphan was 'worse than coronavirus'.

While a man and a woman were killed when trees came crashing down on them in North 24 Parganas district, a 13-year-old girl died in a similar incident in adjoining Howrah, officials said. 
Four persons were killed in Hooghly and North 24 Parganas districts due to electrocution, they said.

IMAGE: Slum dwellers residing along the railroad tracks clear tree branches from tracks in the aftermath of super cyclone Amphan, in Kolkata. Photograph: Swapan Mahapatra/PTI Photo

A woman and her seven-year-old son were killed in the Regent park area of Kolkata after a tree fell on them, while two persons died due to electrocution in Behala area, the officials said.
They said a person was killed in Kolkata after being hit by a flying object during the storm.
The districts of East Midnapore, Howah, North and South 24 Parganas along with the state capital have been the worst hit.


IMAGE: A man walks over a collapsed wall after Cyclone Amphan made its landfall, in Kolkata. Photograph: Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters

The cyclone barrelled through coastal districts of North and South 24 Parganas, unleashing copious rain and windstorm, blowing away thatched houses, uprooting trees, electric poles and swamping low lying towns and villages, officials said.
Strong winds with speed up to 125 kmph per hour upturned cars in Kolkata and felled trees and electricity poles blocking important roads and intersections.
At Kolkata central avenue, a small concrete temple situated at the base of a banyan tree was uprooted.

IMAGE: Water-logging at Kolkata airport due to Cyclone Amphan. Photograph: Twitter

More than 500 trees, along with few hundred electric posts, traffic signals and police kiosks have been uprooted, said a Kolkata Municipal Corporation official.
Reports arriving in Kolkata from North and South 24 Parganas and East Midnapore said roofs of thatched houses were blown away, electric poles got twisted and hundreds of trees broken and uprooted.

Thousands of people have been rendered homeless in these districts due to the cyclone on Wednesday night, officials said.

IMAGE: Workers try to restore a power line after a tree fell on it during a storm due Cyclone Amphan, in Burdwan district of West Bengal. Photograph: PTI Photo

According to officials, more than 1,000 mobile towers across the state and Kolkata have been completely destroyed.
Streets and homes in low-lying areas of Kolkata were swamped with rainwater.
Portions of several dilapidated buildings came crashing down in Kolkata and other parts of the state.
Embankments in Sundarban delta -- a UNESCO site -- were breached as the surge whipped up by the cyclone inundated several kilometers of the Island.

IMAGE: Water-logging outside Kolkata Police Traffic guard during heavy rain after the landfall of super cyclone Amphan, in Kolkata. Photograph: Swapan Mahapatra/PTI Photo

Four jetties in South 24 Parganas have collapsed last night due to the storm.
According to state agricultural department, paddy crop in districts of Burdwan, West Midnapore and Hooghly has been completely destroyed due to the monstrous cyclone.
Four additional teams of the National Disaster Response Force are being airlifted to Kolkata on the request of the West Bengal government, the chief of the force, S N Pradhan, said on Thursday.


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