Super-cyclone Amphan claims over dozen lives in West Bengal, Odisha; now batters Bangladesh
Over a dozen people (including a 13-year old) were reported to have lost their lives by Thursday morning in West Bengal and Orissa after the super cyclone Amphan came raging on Wednesday. The cyclone has now lost its intensity and moved over to Bangladesh.
The category-5 cyclone created havoc for over six-and-a-half hours during which it flattened hundreds of houses, uprooted several trees and electric poles, and snapped off power-lines, internet, and mobile networks too. A couple of transformer fire incidents were also reported from Kolkata.
Weather experts said that the eye of the cyclone, itself was about 30 km in diameter and had a wind-speed of over 200 kmph. It made a landfall with waves as high as 15-feet and was accompanied by heavy rains.The Regional Meteorological Centre Director GK Das has said that Amphan is the ‘strongest cyclone to hit Kolkata this century and fiercer than Aila in terms of wind speed’.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that the impact of cyclone was much worse than the ongoing pandemic and as per the preliminary estimates; the damages could be over Rs 1 lakh crore.
CM Banerjee said, “The Sunderbans, Patharpratima, Basanti, Namkhana, Kutali, Baruipur, Sonarpur and Bhangar in South 24-Parganas have suffered extensive damage and had we not evacuated more than 5 lakh people at a day’s notice, the death toll would have been much higher.”
The 35 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team, deployed to tackle the situation in the two states, has swung into action and has started the rescue and restoration works.