Cyclone Amphan claims 72 lives in Bengal, destroys two districts

Updated: May 22, 2020, 07:36 IST | Agencies | Kokata

The fiercest cyclone to hit West Bengal in 100 years that destroyed mud houses and agriculture crops, and uprooted trees and electric poles also wreaked havoc in Odisha damaging power and telecom infrastructure in several coastal districts

Mangled remains of a bus after a tree fell on it during the cyclone in Kolkata, on Thursday. Pic /AFP
Mangled remains of a bus after a tree fell on it during the cyclone in Kolkata, on Thursday. Pic /AFP

A powerful cyclone Amphan that tore into West Bengal has killed 72 people and "completely devastated" two districts as Kolkata and several parts of the state wore a battered look on Thursday a day after the storm left thousands of people homeless, washed away bridges and swamped low-lying areas. The fiercest cyclone to hit West Bengal in 100 years that destroyed mud houses and agriculture crops, and uprooted trees and electric poles also wreaked havoc in Odisha damaging power and telecom infrastructure in several coastal districts. Odisha government officials estimated it has affected around 44.8 lakh people in the state.

"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 told the media 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 cuts since last evening. Even telephone and mobile connections are down," she said. "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." 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.

Besides North and South 24 Parganas and Kolkata, the districts of East Midnapore and Howrah were the worst hit as portions of several dilapidated buildings came crashing down in several places. Senior officials of the West Bengal government said it was too early to estimate the exact death toll or damage to property.

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