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Amphan leaves behind trail of destruction in West Bengal

Main arterial road blocked in Tollygunge, in Kolkata on May 21, 2020.

Main arterial road blocked in Tollygunge, in Kolkata on May 21, 2020.  

Thousands of houses damaged, low-lying areas inundated and crops destroyed

Super cyclone Amphan, which raged for hours on Wednesday, has left several areas of south Bengal and Kolkata completely devastated. The destruction, unprecedented in recent public memory, resulted in thousands of houses being damaged, low-lying areas being inundated and crops over thousands of acres being destroyed.

On Thursday, the city woke up with almost all the roads blocked by fallen trees, broken electric poles and several areas submerged. In many areas, the electricity supply was disrupted. From several parts of the city and suburbs, there have been reports of deaths due to electrocution. Deaths due to electrocution were also reported from Behala in Kolkata, Howah, Hooghly and North 24 Parganas.

In pictures: Amphan leaves West Bengal, Odisha reeling

 

Trees had fallen almost every 50 metres, blocking key arteries of the city. Scenes of devastation were visible in almost all the neighbourhoods of Kolkata. Water-logging was reported in various parts of the city, including the airport. The Kolkata Municipal Corporation was trying to pump out water from low-lying areas.

The most-affected districts were South 24 Parganas and North 24 Parganas. Sunderbans Police District in South 24 Parganas bore the brunt of the cyclone. The jetty at Kachuberia in South 24 Parganas that connects mainland with Sagar Island was damaged.

Watch | Cyclone Amphan wreaks havoc in West Bengal and Odisha
 

Areas such as Kakdwip, Namkhana in South 24 Parganas, Minakha, Hingalganj in North 24 Parganas were among the worst affected in the cyclone, which made landfall near Sagar Island, clocking a speed of 160 kmph. The storm made landfall at about 2.30 p.m. on Wednesday and, by 4 p.m., the impact was felt in Kolkata.

For over six hours, the storm raged in all its fury in Kolkata. At about 6 p.m., the Alipore Weather Office recorded a wind speed of about 112 kmph and at 7.20 p.m., the wind speed in Dumdum in Kolkata peaked to 133 kmph. Large parts of the city had plunged into darkness through the night.

The cyclone had destroyed the two districts of North and South 24 Parganas, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said. She said that 10 to 12 deaths were reported. According to officials, it will take a couple of days to ascertain the damage. A special task force will meet at the State Secretariat on Thursday to access the impact of the cyclone.

The only comparison, people said, was cyclone Aila (2009). “If Aila was 10, this is [also] 10,” the Chief Minister said on Wednesday evening.

By Thursday morning, Amphan moved north-northeastward, crossed Bengal and lay

over Bangladesh. The weather office has predicted rainfall in Nadia and Murshidabad district of central Bengal and the district of north Bengal.

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Printable version | Jul 16, 2020 9:48:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/amphan-leaves-behind-trail-of-destruction-in-west-bengal/article31640102.ece

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