Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday termed the Super Cyclone Amphan as a 'catastrophe' after it killed at least 12 people and caused widespread destruction in India's east cost, particularly in West Bengal and Odisha. The Chief Minister further said that the impact of the cyclone is 'worse than coronavirus'.
While monitoring the situation from a control room at her office in Kolkata, Banerjee said "Sarbanash hoye galo (it is a catastrophe)," and described the impact of Amphan as worse than coronavirus. Comparing the storm 'tandav' the dance of fury she said this is the worst storm formed over the Bay of Bengal in years.
She also claimed estimated damage caused by the cyclone is was worth Rs One lakh crore. More than five lakh people have been evacuated to safety by the state government she added.
The cyclone passed through the coastal districts of North and South 24 Paraganas of Bengal with heavy rain and windstorm, destroyed residences, uprooted trees, electric poles and flooded the low lying areas. Power cuts in large parts of Kolkata, North 24 Paraganas and South Paraganas were also reported.
Mobile and internet services were also down in parts as the cyclone had damaged several communication towers. Streets and homes in low lying areas of Kolkata were swamped with rainwater. Portions of several dilapidated buildings came crashing down in Kolkata and other parts of the state. Embankments in Sundarban delta - a UNESCO site - were also breached as the surge whipped up by the cyclone inundated several kilometers of the islands. Hundreds of trees fell to the cyclone's fury.
While a man and a woman were killed when trees came crashing down on them in North 24 Parganas district, a 13-year-old girl died in a similar incident in adjoining Howrah, officials said. Three persons were killed in Hooghly and North 24 Paraganas districts due to electrocution, officials said. A woman and her seven-year-old son were killed in the Regent park area of Kolkata after a tree fell on them, the officials said. They said a person was killed in Kolkata after being hit by a flying object during the storm. Senior state officials said it was too early to estimate a toll on life or damage to property as the hardest-hit areas were still not accessible.