Cyclone Amphan: Shocking videos from West Bengal
Kolkata: A category 5 cyclone, Amphan has left at least 72 dead in West Bengal, confirmed Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
"I have never seen such a disaster before. I will ask PM 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," Banerjee said.
The cyclone that made its landfall on Wednesday devastated the coasts of India and Bangladesh. Already plagued by the ongoing COVID19 pandemic, the State evacuated almost 2.6 million people to safe shelters and on high grounds, after the warning of the cyclone. This led to a compromise on social distancing.
During its landfall, Cyclone Amphan packed sustained winds of up to 70-80km/hr with maximum gusts of 110-120km/hr.
In Kolkata, as the cyclone hit the coast, the city experiences surged rivers, uprooted electric poles and heavy rains coupled with stormy winds.
In the Bay of Bengal, the strong cyclonic winds also washed away bridges connecting several Indian islands to the mainland. They left many areas without electricity or mobile network. Thousands of homes were damaged, and river embankments were also washed away.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, took to social media to extend his support for the cyclone-affected State and its people.
According to the India Meteorological Department, the super-cyclone Amphan has moved north-northeastwards, with a speed of 27 km/ph during the six hours and has further weakened into a cyclonic storm. Currently, it lays centred over Bangladesh, about 270 km north-northeast of Kolkata.
The cyclone-hit region houses around 58 million population in the two countries, including some of the most vulnerable communities of South Asia. It includes poor fishing communities in the Sunderbans and more than 1 million Rohingya refugees living in crowded camps in Cox's Bazar of Bangladesh.