Death toll rises to 95 as India, Bangladesh clean up after devastating cyclone

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A massive clean-up operation has begun in both the countries after the storm flattened homes, uprooted trees and left cities without power. — Courtesy photo

NEW DELHI — Millions of people across eastern India and Bangladesh are reeling from the devastation caused by Cyclone Amphan.

So far at least 95 deaths have been reported: 80 from Indian states of West Bengal and Odisha and 15 from Bangladesh, according to disaster management officials.

The toll is expected to rise as communications are restored and authorities reach villages cut off by blocked roads.

A massive clean-up operation has begun in both the countries after the storm flattened homes, uprooted trees and left cities without power.


Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi conducted on Friday an aerial survey of areas affected by the cyclone in the eastern state of West Bengal.

The premier announced a $131.66 million (10 billion rupees) relief package for the cyclone-hit state.

Authorities in both countries had evacuated millions of people before the storm struck, preventing the loss of more lives.

Earlier on Thursday, the United Nations expressed concerns over the loss of life and destruction of properties resulting from the cyclone. It said that the UN humanitarians and partners are working hard to assist the people of Bangladesh and India suffering from the impact of Cyclone Amphan.

“It is believed that around 10 million people in Bangladesh are impacted by the cyclone, with half a million families potentially having lost their homes”, UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric told reporters during a regular virtual briefing on Thursday, from New York.

Meanwhile, opposition parties in India urged the federal government on Friday to immediately declare the devastation caused by Cyclone Amphan in Odisha and West Bengal as a national calamity and called for substantially helping the states in facing the impact of the disaster.

The leaders of the 22 parties, who met through video-conferencing, passed a resolution in this regard and said relief and rehabilitation should be the topmost priority at this juncture.

"We, the opposition parties extend our sympathy and support to the governments and people of West Bengal and Odisha in meeting the impact of the devastation caused by Cyclone Amphan," the resolution said. — Agencies


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