New Delhi: At least 19 people have died in Kolkata due to the severe cyclonic storm Amphan, the city police said on Thursday. Meanwhile, in West Bengal, a total of 72 deaths have been reported so far, along with thousands of trees uprooted in the gales, power poles and other infrastructure damaged. Also Read - Akshay Kumar’s Prithviraj Set to be Demolished For Being Unused Amid Lockdown
The fierce storm has now moved to the north of Bangladesh, towards Bhutan, although its wind speed has slightly weakened. Also Read - As Tensions With China Escalate, Rajnath Singh Meets CDS And Three Service Chiefs
Power cuts and disruption in 4G internet services dominated the state’s 14 million people, while some areas are witnessing the same troubles even after a day. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had called cyclone Amphan ‘a disaster like never before’, while others have deemed it one of the worst devastations to affect Kolkata in decades. Also Read - Global COVID-19 Cases Cross 5.5 Million Mark, Death Toll Stands at 346,000
“Sarbanash hoye galo (everything is over),” the West Bengal CM was quoted as saying the disaster ‘worse than coronavirus’ in a press briefing where she demanded urgent help from Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the aftermath of the cyclone.
CM Banerjee also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2.5 lakh to each of the families of those deceased in the cyclone.
Earlier today, the state and central authorities lauded the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) for giving an accurate forecast on cyclone Amphan’s track, its intensity, storm surge, landfall time and weather associated with it.
“The IMD used the latest technology to give an accurate forecast on Cyclone Amphan. We had predicted about its track 3.5 days before,” Mohapatra said at an online briefing.
As Amphan hit the land on Wednesday evening, windows buckled from the pressure of the storm, cars floated on waterlogged roads, bumping against each other. Parts of air conditioners, tin roofs were seen flying around like missiles.
Buses and taxis crashed against each other, small fishing boats turned turtle and grounded planes shook at the inundated Kolkata airport.
The NDRF, as well as the state disaster response teams, are still on the ground conducting rescue and relief operations in the affected areas.
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.