With the disturbing visuals of the devastation caused by Cyclone Amphan coming from the Eastern part of the country, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi offered his condolences to bereaved families. He also prayed for the speedy recovery of those who had suffered injuries. In a tweet late on Thursday, Gandhi offered his support to 'the brave people' of Odisha and West Bengal.
The widespread devastation caused by #CycloneAmphan in West Bengal & Odisha is disturbing. My condolences to the families of those who have perished & I pray the injured make a speedy recovery. I offer my support to the brave people of these two states in this time of crisis.— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) May 21, 2020
The cyclonic storm, which triggered heavy rains and accompanied high-velocity winds gusting up to 190 kmph in coastal areas, made a landfall in the Sunderbans in West Bengal on Wednesday evening. Nearly 45 lakh people in Odisha have been affected by the extremely severe cyclonic storm Amphan, officials said on Thursday.
Earlier in the day, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) chief SN Pradhan and India Meteorological Department (IMD) chief Mrityunjay Mohapatra talked about the Cyclone Amphan situation. Mentioning that the cyclone-affected areas in Odisha could return to normal life in 24-48 hours, the NDRF chief added that 4 additional teams were being airlifted to Kolkata, which shall be at the disposal of the West Bengal government. He conceded that the damage in West Bengal was more than expected and announced that a team of the Ministry of Home Affairs would visit the state to evaluate the damage.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be visiting West Bengal in order to asses the situation on the ground and he will be accompanied by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Meanwhile, CM Banerjee announced that 72 people have lost their lives due to cyclone Amphan - which included 15 residents of Kolkata. She urged the Centre to aide the state battle both Coronavirus and the cyclone. The CM also announced compensation for the families of the ones who lost their life. She said, "We will pay compensation of Rs 2.5 lakhs to next to kin of deceased." The storm was the first super cyclone to form in the Bay of Bengal since 1999.