Death toll due to ‘Cyclone Amphan’ rises to 85 in Bengal

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The death toll due to powerful Tropical Cyclone Amphan, which left a trail of massive destruction and loss of lives in West Bengal before moving to Bangladesh, has risen to 85

 

With normal life thrown out of gear by the region's worst weather disasters, the authorities scrambled in various parts of the state to restore normalcy.

Lakhs of people were rendered homeless as Cyclone Amphan cut a path of destruction through half-a-dozen districts of the state on Wednesday, flattening houses, uprooting thousands of trees and swamping low-lying areas.

According to official sources, around 1.5 crore people of the state have been directly affected and more than 10 lakh houses destroyed due to the cyclone.

Although electricity and mobile connection were restored in some parts of Kolkata, and North and South 24 Parganas districts, many areas continued to remain in darkness as power poles had been blown away and communication lines snapped.

Several roads and houses in Kolkata, Howrah, and North and South 24 Parganas districts continue to remain waterlogged.

People in various parts of Kolkata staged protests and blockades since Friday night demanding immediate resumption of power and water supply, three days after Amphan ravaged the state.

Firhad Hakim, chairman of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation board of administrators, assured the people that normalcy would be restored in a week, as government officials were working round the clock to improve the situation.

In Kakdwip area of South 24 Parganas district, people complained that they were not given enough tarpaulin sheets to cover the roofs of houses damaged by the cyclone.

In Hingalganj block of North 24 Parganas, people claimed they were running out of food, as shops in the vicinity were yet to lift shutters in the aftermath of the calamity.

Several relief camps have come up in the districts, where hapless people have queued up for two squares of meal and shelter after their homes being either blown or washed away.

Teams of the National Disaster Response Force and the State Disaster Relief Force have been working on a war-footing to clear the roads blocked by the uprooted trees.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is likely to visit Cyclone Amphan hit South 24 Parganas district on Saturday and take stock of the situation.

On Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had undertook an aerial survey of the cyclone-hit areas along with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

Lauding the efforts of the state government in combating the crisis, Modi announced an advance assistance of Rs 1,000 crore for the state.

Modi also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh to the kin of the persons deceased and Rs 50,000 each to the persons, who sustained serious injuries during cyclone Amphan landfall in the state.

Assuring rehabilitation of the destroyed lives and livelihoods, PM Modi said a team by the Central government will be sent to West Bengal to access the losses and damaged caused due to cyclone Amphan.

The Prime Minister said all aspects relating to rehabilitation, reconstruction will be addressed and the Centre will always stand with West Bengal in these testing time.

On Thursday, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that Rs 1,000 crore fund has been created for restoration work for areas affected in cyclone Amphan. She had also urged the Prime Minister to visit the state.

The state government also announced a compensation of Rs 2.5 lakh to to the families of the deceased.

 

With inputs from PTI

Image credit: News 18

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