Bengal struck by nature’s fury, Cyclone Amphan leaves trail of large-scale destruction; at least 72 dead in Kolkata


Cyclone Amphan has caused large-scale destruction in Bengal, leaving a trail of devastation in North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas and Kolkata. Even places like Howrah, West Midnapore, East Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura have reported severe damages by Wednesday’s cyclone. The cyclone, one of the worst for Bengal in living memory, damaged thousands of houses, uprooted trees and electricity poles and left at least 72 people dead. The death toll across India and Bangladesh has reached 84. Among those killed is one 13-year-old girl, identified as Lakshmi Kumari from Howrah, who died after a tin roof fell on her. A man and a woman died in 24 North Parganas after coming under trees due to the strong winds.

Cyclone Amphan

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee told reporters in Kolkata that North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas and Kolkata were completely damaged. “Our secretariat has suffered major damages,” Banerjee said.

Twitter has been inundated with horrifying visuals of large-scale devastation. In one video, the roof of a school in Howrah can be seen being blown away by the storm. In another visual, electricity transformers could be seen exploding in Kolkata leaving a trail of huge flames amidst the heavy downpour.

In one visual, a tree was seen catching fire after being struck by lightning.

A visibly pained Banerjee said that the communications system in the affected areas had completely collapsed. “Everything is finished. From embankment to houses to light posts, everything is destroyed,” the chief minister said. Banerjee said that she did not expect the cyclone of this magnitude to make landfall in Bengal.

The cyclone had made landfall at 2.30 pm between Digha in West Bengal and Hatiya island in Bangladesh before wreaking havoc across the coastal belt.

Here are the LIVE UPDATES:

  • The super cyclonic storm #Amphan (pronounced as UM-PUN) moved “north-northeastwards with a speed of 27 kmph during the past six hours, further weakened into a cyclonic storm and lay centered at 5.30 a.m. on Thursday over Bangladesh”,
    @Indiametdept said. (IANS)
  • A day of killing 12 people after barrelling in from the #BayofBengal with wind speeds up to 185 kmph, severe cyclonic storm #Amphan on Thursday weakened and lay centered over #Bangladesh about 270 north-northeastwards of #Kolkata with a wind speed of 27 kmph. (IANS)
  • Extremely severe cyclone ‘Amphan’ has killed at least 12 persons and ravaged Kolkata and several parts of West Bengal as it left behind trail of destruction by uprooting trees, destroying thousands of homes and swamping low-lying areas of state. (PTI)
  • By the latest calculations, this is equivalent to a category 4 hurricane, says UK Met Office
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