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Cyclone Amphan update: West Bengal counts the losses; UN says storm worst than Aila

Cyclone Amphan update: Authorities and rescue teams, meanwhile, continued with their restoration work across districts, especially in the capital city Kolkata and in the south, areas that have been worst hit by the cyclonic storm.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: May 22, 2020 7:38:07 pm
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Cyclone Amphan: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday announced an immediate advanced relief of Rs 1,000 crore for West Bengal and Rs 500 crore for Odisha after he held an aerial survey to asses the devastation caused by Cyclone Amphan which claimed 77 lives in West Bengal.

Authorities and rescue teams, meanwhile, continued with their restoration work across districts, especially in the capital city Kolkata and in the south, areas that have been worst hit by the cyclonic storm.

Here is a look at the latest developments:

Tracking Cyclone Amphan

The cyclone, which weakened into a depression on Friday, was further reduced to a well-marked low pressure area over North Bangladesh and the neighbouring area. “It is very likely to continue to move north-northeastwards and weaken further into a low pressure area during next 12 hours,” the Indian Meterological Department (IMD) has said. The cyclone hit Bengal and Odisha at a time when it is already struggling to fight the transmission of the novel coronavirus.

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Follow Cyclone Amphan LIVE updates here

60% of West Bengal’s population impacted due to Amphan: Mamata

As she arrived to received the Prime Minister at the Kolkata airport, Banerjee told reporters that the cyclone must be treated as a national disaster.

“This is more than a national disaster. I have not seen such devastation in my life. Sixty per cent of people have been affected in West Bengal. More than six crore have been directly affected,” she said.

“It will take some time to restore normalcy… It’s a catastrophe… severe disaster. Our officials and ministers are all working. Police are also working tirelessly. We are fighting three challenges — there is lockdown, then there is Covid-19, and now this disaster. The villages have been entirely devastated,” the chief minister added.

Cyclone Amphan: Men cut branches of an uprooted tree in the aftermath of Cyclone Amphan, in South 24 Parganas district, on Thursday. (Reuters)

PM grants immediate relief of Rs 1,000 crore

Concerned over the losses caused by the cyclonic storm amid the twin challenges of COVID and return of migrants to the state, Banerjee on Thursday had sought an immediate release of funds to carry out relief work.

Responding to her request, Prime Minister Modi today granted an immediate release of Rs 1,000 crore for the state.

“An advance of Rs 1,000 crore will be given to West Bengal. An amount of Rs 1 lakh would be given to the next of kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 each to the persons who were injured in the cyclone,” Modi said.

Mamata announces compensation for kin of deceased

Announcing the setting up of a Rs 1,000-crore fund for relief and rehabilitation following Amphan, the CM also announced a compensation of Rs 2.5 lakh to the families of each of those who died.

Cyclone Amphan: Coastal area is seen flooded after the embankment is destroyed as the cyclone Amphan makes its landfall in Satkhira, Bangladesh. (Reuters)

Bengal reels under Amphan destruction

Two Home Ministry teams are scheduled to visit West Bengal and Odisha soon to take stock of the extent of the damage caused by Amphan. Roads and electricity remained cut off in large parts of West Bengal, including Kolkata on Thursday. According to the Kolkata Municipal Corporation, about 5,000 trees have fallen across the city while hundreds of electricity poles have been damaged.

Two unused hangars collapsed at the partially flooded Kolkata airport. Authorities said the airport was made operational from noon onwards.

Cyclone Amphan considered even more destructive than Cyclone Aila: UN

Cyclone Amphan is now considered even more destructive than Cyclone Aila which slammed southern Bangladesh and eastern India in 2009, the United Nations has said.

“The UN Country Team in India reported that Cyclone Amphan, which caused widespread damage around Calcutta is now considered even more destructive than Cyclone Aila, which slammed the region in May 2009,” the UN said in a news report.

weather, weather forecast today, odisha weather, west bengal weather, weather today, today weather, cyclone amphan, cyclone amphan latest news,cyclone amphan today update, cyclone amphan rains, cyclone amphan oisha, cyclone amphan west bengal, cyclone amphan tamil nadu, cyclone amphan andhra pradesh, cyclone amphan rains, cyclone amphan weather, cyclone amphan latest news, cyclone amphan odisha, odisha rains According to the Kolkata Municipal Corporation, about 5,000 trees have fallen across the city while hundreds of electricity poles have been damaged. (Twitter/NDRF)

Odisha CM speaks to Mamata, assures support amid Amphan crisis

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today dialled his Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee enquired about the intensity of the damage caused due to the extremely severe cyclonic storm. He also assured all possible support to overcome the present crisis.

The chief minister conveyed Odisha’s absolute solidarity with the people of West Bengal at this hour of crisis, a statement released by the Odisha Chief Minister’s Office said.

Devastation caused by cyclone Amphan disturbing: Rahul Gandhi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday said the widespread devastation caused by cyclone Amphan in West Bengal and Odisha is disturbing, as he condoled the death of those killed in the natural calamity

“The widespread devastation caused by Cyclone Amphan in West Bengal & Odisha is disturbing,” he tweeted.

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