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Tuesday, Oct 04, 2022

Cyclone toll rises to 62; rescue operations begin in WB

At least 62 people were killed as cyclone 'Aila' ravaged the southern coastlines of Bangladesh,where tidal surges inundated vast tracts of land and breached coastal embankments.

At least 62 people were killed as cyclone “Aila” ravaged the southern coastlines of Bangladesh,where tidal surges inundated vast tracts of land and breached coastal embankments,officials said on Tuesday.

The full extent of devastation in the storm,which packed windspeed of up to 100 kilometres per hour to slam into the Bangladesh coasts on Monday,was slowly emerging as the authorities were assessing the damage.

Disaster management officials here said they so far confirmed 62 deaths while unofficial reports said the toll could be as high as 90 with recovery of more bodies from remote areas. The cyclone left marks of its scourge across the entire stretch of the coastlines.

Meanwhile,the Red Crescent Society said some 338,780 people in eight districts were affected by the cyclone while a total of 100,000 people were forced to move into makeshift shelters under a massive evacuation campaign by their volunteers and law enforcement agencies.

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“The cyclone killed maximum 28 people in (southwestern) Satkhira,while eight deaths were reported from Noakhali,seven in Patuakhali,six in Laxmipur and five in Khulna,” state-run news agency BSS reported quoting the officer-in-charge of disaster management control room in Dhaka.

Rescue efforts in West Bengal

Two columns of army,one each in Sandeshkhali and Kultali of North and South 24 Parganas districts respectively,were carrying out rescue and relief operations,defence spokesman Wing Commander Mahesh Upasani said.

Six more army columns were on standby,he said. Two MI-17 helicopters were air-dropping food packets in the two worst hit areas in the two districts,he said. The army would also take up operations in Hingalganj in North 24 Parganas and Gosaba,Patharpratima and Sagardwip areas in South 24 Parganas.

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Railway minister Mamata Banerjee is scheduled to visit Kakdwip in South 24 Parganas district on Tuesday.

The cyclone and its after effects were over,Regional Meteorological Centre Director G C Debnath said. However,there was a possibility of rain,he said.

The cyclone ushered in the state a fortnight ahead of the schedule,Debnath said. Life in the metropolis was returning to normal today with people going to markets,offices and educational institutions,Deputy Commissioner (HQ) Javed Shamim said. Uprooted trees that were lying in some areas,blocking roads,were being cleared. Some areas were still water-logged,he said,adding that several areas in Kolkata and the two districts were without electricity since Monday.

First published on: 26-05-2009 at 11:59:05 am
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