Dozens die as cyclone causes devastation in eastern India, Bangladesh

1110 views
At least 72 people were killed in West Bengal state alone, and two more deaths were reported in neighboring Odisha, according to the state government. — Courtesy photo

NEW DELHI — Cyclone Amphan swept across eastern India and Bangladesh from the Bay of Bengal on Wednesday night, leaving 84 people dead.



At least 72 people were killed in West Bengal state alone, and two more deaths were reported in neighboring Odisha, according to the state government.

Bangladesh reported 10 deaths and said 1 million people were left without power as electricity poles were toppled in south and southwestern parts of the country.

The eastern Indian city of Kolkata has been devastated by cyclone which wreaked havoc in the city as well as in the state of West Bengal.

Addressing the media, the chief minister of West Bengal state in India said she had "never seen such a disaster before".

"Efforts are on to ensure normalcy," assured Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a tweet. "No stone will be left unturned in helping the affected."

Thousands of trees were uprooted in the gales, electricity and telephone lines brought down and houses flattened.

Many of Kolkata's roads are flooded and its 14 million people without power.

The storm is the first super cyclone to form in the Bay of Bengal since 1999. Though its winds had weakened by the time it struck, it was still classified as a very severe cyclone.

Coronavirus restrictions have been hindering emergency and relief efforts. The preventive measures like social distancing have made mass evacuations more difficult, with shelters unable to be used to full capacity.

The next few days will be a major test for authorities in both India and Bangladesh, as they have to continue addressing the coronavirus pandemic, while also cleaning up from the deadly storm and getting hundreds of thousands of people out of shelters and back into devastated communities. — Agencies

1110 views