At least 20 people were killed as cyclone Bulbul lashed coastal West Bengal in India and Bangladesh on Sunday.
Around ten people were killed in West Bengal as the storm made landfall around midnight on Saturday, officials said. Cyclone Bulbul affected nearly 2.94 lakh people, damaged around 60,000 houses and caused extensive damage to crops in the state. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the ‘very severe’ cyclonic storm weakened into ‘severe’ cyclonic storm before it made landfall close to Sundarban Dhanchi forest in West Bengal. The severe cyclonic storm brought in heavy rain accompanied by strong winds which uprooted trees and snapped cables, bringing normal life to a near-halt.
Heavy rain and high-speed winds triggered by cyclone Bulbul claimed two lives in Odisha, officials said on Sunday. Nearly 8218 people were shifted to 108 relief camps, around 5,500 houses were damaged and power and communication were disrupted after a large number of trees were uprooted due to cyclone Bulbul.
It then made its way to neighbouring Bangladesh, where eight people were killed and 30 injured. Authorities said 36 fishermen went missing and around 6,000 homes were partially or fully damaged. In Pics | Cyclone Bulbul wreaks havoc in West Bengal, Bangladesh
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the very severe cyclonic storm weakened into severe cyclonic storm before it made landfall close to Sundarban Dhanchi forest. The severe cyclonic storm made landfall in West Bengal last night and brought in heavy rain accompanied by strong winds, uprooted trees, snapped cables, bringing normal life to a near-halt. On Sunday afternoon, Bulbul weakened into a “deep depression” and lay over coastal Bangladesh and is likely to move east-northeastwards during the next 9 hours, IMD said. Read | Cyclone Bulbul Live Updates
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is working along with Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) to clear road blockades caused by fallen trees and branches. Javed Khan, state disaster management minister, said all emergency services have been put in place to ensure trees are removed at the earliest.
West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar hailed the “directional” efforts of the state government and other central agencies to minimise the impact of cyclone Bulbul. He also lauded the IMD for its timely forecast of the severe cyclonic storm and said, “The directional efforts of the state government, its agencies as also central outfits National Disaster Response Force, National Disaster Management Authority, Coast Guard, Navy and others have minimised the damage due to ‘Bulbul’…”
The Met department predicted light to moderate rain for the next six hours from 12:30 pm in North and South 24 Parganas, East Midnapore and Nadia districts.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee postponed her visit to North Bengal and said she would conduct an aerial survey of the cyclone-affected areas around Namkhana and Bakkhali in South 24 Parganas.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke with Mamata Banerjee and assured all assistance to deal with the calamity. “Reviewed the situation in the wake of cyclone conditions and heavy rain in parts of Eastern India. Spoke to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee regarding the situation arising due to cyclone Bulbul. Assured all possible assistance from the Centre. I pray for everyone’s safety and well-being,” he tweeted.