Amphan toll in West Bengal 80, says Mamata Banerjee

Chief Minister announces a compensation of ₹2.5 lakh to kin of deceased.

May 22, 2020 11:41 am | Updated 01:35 pm IST - KOLKATA

A family stands inside their damaged house in the aftermath of Cyclone Amphan, at Kharagpur in West Midnapore district, Thursday, May 21, 2020.

A family stands inside their damaged house in the aftermath of Cyclone Amphan, at Kharagpur in West Midnapore district, Thursday, May 21, 2020.

At least 80 people died in West Bengal due to super cyclone Amphan , Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said late on May 21.

Sixty-one of them died in the districts and 19 in Kolkata, she added.

The families of the deceased will be given a compensation of ₹2.5 lakh, while a fund of ₹1,000 crore had been created, Ms. Banerjee said.

Also read | A double disaster: On a cyclone amid the coronavirus

At least seven districts have been badly hit , according to the administration.

The State is expecting a package from the Centre to boost the economy and employment.

“Financial situation is bad. We have not received anything from the Centre... [we have] hardly any income. We had to spend everything from the State coffers. I do not know how we can sustain like this,” the Chief Minister said.

Ms. Banerjee said the region last witnessed a similar calamity in 1737.

She will later participate in a video conference with the leaders of the Opposition parties convened by Sonia Gandhi.

P.M. surveys State

Prime Minister Narendra Modi conducted an aerial survey of West Bengal.

After the survey, Mr. Modi and Ms. Banerjee are meeting in North 24 Paraganas.

The State will seek an economic package, which can be used to build the infrastructure, pay compensation and generate employment in a COVID-19- and Amphan-hit Bengal.

Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar was also on board the Prime Minister’s helicopter.

A number of BJP State leaders, including party president Dilip Ghosh and four Central Ministers, received the Prime Minister at the airport.

The airport was partly inundated and a makeshift pathway was created to escort him out.

It is expected that the economic package will trigger a fresh political row between the Trinamool Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party, depending on the size of the package and performance in fund disbursal.

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