Cyclone Rips through Bengal

Severe cyclonic storm Amphan made a landfall in West Bengal on Wednesday and caused severe damages in Kolkata, Howrah, Hooghly, North and South 24 Parganas districts and their nearby areas, with a wind speed ranging from 155 to 185 kmph, accompanied by heavy rainfall.

Addresing the media, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said, “We are not getting proper reports as the connections have been completely cut off due to the storm. But the total losses are likely to amount to thousands of crores. It will take at least 3-4 days to do an initial assessment of the losses. Many bridges and kutcha houses have been completely ravaged.”

Heavy rains and huge gush of wind storms damaged the roofs of several buildings and uprooted a massive number of trees across Kolkata and its adjoining Howrah district. 

Kolkata: Heavy rains accompanied by strong winds triggered by the impact of extremely severe cyclonic storm Amphan lash Kolkata on May 20, 2020. (Photo: Kuntal Chakrabarty/IANS)

According to reports available, a girl in Howrah died after a wall collapsed on her at Shalimar locality. In North 24 Parganas districts, a 56-year-old woman in Minakhan and another youth in Basirhat were killed by uprooted trees. In Kolkata, a mother and her son died at the Regent Park area in south Kolkata. 

Reports said that Amphan has already destroyed over 5,000 houses in Minakhan, Haroa, Basirhat Hingalgunj and Hasnabad areas of North 24 Parganas district.

Most of the areas in Howrah and North 24 Parganas faced massive power cuts due to heavy rainfall. Roofs of several houses also collapsed as a result of the strong winds during the cyclonic spell. There have been damages inside the state secretariat building Nabanna as well. 

Two teams of NDRF have already started road clearance work at Shyampur Block in Howrah district, sources said.

“We will ask the Centre to look at the extent of damages with a humane face. As per our initial estimates, 10-12 people have died. We feel the loss of lives could even surpass that caused by the Covid-19 pandemic,” Banerjee said.

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