Cyclone Amphan claims 72 lives in West Bengal, Mamata urges PM Modi to visit state

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Almost all have died because of electrocution and falling trees.

 

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Thursday that Cyclone Amphan had claimed 72 lives in the state-15 of them from Kolkata alone. She said that almost all have died because of electrocution and falling trees.

"I have never seen such a disaster before. I will ask Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit the state and see the situation," said Banerjee. "There have been casualties. I announce a compensation of Rs 2.5 lakh to the families of those who died in the cyclone."

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".

Cyclone Amphan, one of the strongest cyclonic storms in decades, caused havoc in the state of West Bengal and Odisha with a wind speed of 185 kmph. It triggered torrential rains across Kolkata and other regions.

Quoting officials, a  Zee News report said that the cyclone barrelled through coastal districts of North and South 24 Paraganas of Bengal, unleashing heavy rain and windstorm, blowing away thatched houses, uprooting trees, electric poles and swamping low lying towns and villages.

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 report added.

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.

The Cyclone 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.

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.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has urged the Central government to declare Cyclone ‘Amphan' a national calamity, the CPI(M) demanded. Party general secretary Sitaram Yechury said that both West Bengal and Odisha urgently need the support and solidarity of the government and people of the country (with inputs from agencies)

Image Credit: Hindustan Times

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