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MHA Reviews Situation In Odisha & West Bengal In Aftermath Of Cyclone Amphan; Extends Help

Rajiv Gauba reviewed situation in the affected areas of Odisha & West Bengal with the States & Central Ministries/Agencies concerned in the aftermath of Amphan

Rajiv Gauba

Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba on Thursday reviewed the situation in the cyclone-affected areas of Odisha and West Bengal with the States and Central Ministries/Agencies concerned in the aftermath of Cyclone Amphan. Chief Secretaries of West Bengal and Odisha participated in the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) meeting through video conference.

Major damage to agriculture

According to an official press release, Chief Secretaries of Odisha and West Bengal informed that timely and accurate forecast by IMD and advance the deployment of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) facilitated in the evacuation of about 5 lakh people in West Bengal and about 2 lakh in Odisha.

The NDRF is moving additional teams in West Bengal to speed up restoration work especially in Kolkata. Food Corporation of India will ensure adequate availability of food grains, especially rice, to West Bengal so that marooned people are provided immediate sustenance, the release said. 

The West Bengal government informed that there was major damage to agriculture, power, and telecommunication facilities in cyclone-affected areas. Odisha informed that damage has been mainly limited to agriculture. Reviewing rescue and restoration efforts, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba directed that officers of Central Ministries/Agencies should remain in close touch with Odisha and West Bengal state governments and provide all required assistance expeditiously:

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) will be sending teams to carry out an early assessment of damages and submit a report.

'Amphan' to weaken further into a deep depression

Packing heavy rain and winds with speeds of up to 190 kph, extremely severe cyclone Amphan slammed Digha coast of West Bengal at 2.30 pm on Wednesday, triggering heavy rainfall and gusting in various parts of the state. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who has been monitoring the situation at state secretariat Nabanna since Tuesday night, said the impact of Amphan was "worse than coronavirus".

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The "super cyclonic storm" Amphan has moved north-northeastwards with a speed of 27 kilometres per hour during the past six hours, further weakened into a "cyclonic storm" and lay centred on Thursday over Bangladesh. "It is very likely to continue to move north-northeastwards and weaken further into a deep depression during the next 3 hours and into a depression during subsequent 6 hours," IMD said in its bulletin on Thursday morning.

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It has also issued a heavy rainfall warning for Assam and Meghalaya stating that light to moderate rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy falls at isolated places very likely over the western districts of Assam and Meghalaya on May 21.

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(With agency inputs)

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