Super cyclone Amphan made landfall on Wednesday casing devastation in multiple areas across eastern India and Bangladesh. The extremely severe cyclonic storm brought wild rains and strong winds, destroying thousands of homes and taking the lives of over 80 people in both countries. Millions of houses were left without power and telecommunication for several hours.
Visuals from parts of West Bengal hit by the cyclone show ferocious storm flooding roads and uprooting trees and electricity poles. Responding to the cyclonic storms, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee said that the impact of Amphan is worse than that of the Coronavirus pandemic. She confirmed that over 70 people have lost their lives in the state. Some of the badly hit districts in the state included Kolkata, Howrah, North 24 Paraganas, Hooghly and Birbhum. In Odisha, the cyclone left behind a trail of destruction around the coastal areas, causing large-scale damage to property and environment.
As the fiercest cyclone in over two decades hit Bangladesh, it ripped off thousands of houses and enormous crop fields. Several low lying areas and villages in coastal areas of Khulna and Satkhira were swamped with flooding water. As per a report by the UN, around 10 million people in Bangladesh are impacted by the cyclone, with half a million families potentially having lost their homes. So far, the Bangladeshi authorities have stated that around 15 people have lost their lives due to the devastation. Mass evacuation efforts taken by the administrations were effective in saving the lives of millions of citizens. The Bangladesh government evacuated approximately 2.5 million people ahead of the cyclone.
In the aftermath of Amphan, authorities of both countries are carrying out relief operations in communities that have faced the worst impact of the powerful cyclone. However, authorities in both countries are still trying to examine the extent of casualties and scale of property damage. According to UNICEF, at least 19 million children in parts of Bangladesh and India are at “imminent risk” from the ramifications of the cyclone.
While the super cyclone caused an unprecedented havoc in various parts of Bangladesh and Indian states of West Bengal and Odisha, governments of both countries are continuously grappling with the Coronavirus pandemic as the number of infected cases is surging with each passing day. In India, the total number of COVID-19 patients has crossed 118,000, while Bangladesh has over 25,000 positive cases.
The Indian Meteorological Department reported that Amphan slowed down into a deep depression on Thursday afternoon, adding that the worst is over. Meanwhile, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday will be taking an aerial survey of the impact of Amphan in West Bengal and Odisha.