Other States

Cyclone Bulbul claims 12 lives in West Bengal, Odisha

Villagers cross over an uprooted tree in the aftermath of cyclone ‘Bulbul’ in South 24 Paraganas district of West Bengal on November 10, 2019.

Villagers cross over an uprooted tree in the aftermath of cyclone ‘Bulbul’ in South 24 Paraganas district of West Bengal on November 10, 2019.   | Photo Credit: PTI

The cyclonic storm is likely to weaken into a deep depression and further into a depression as it moves east- northeastwards over coastal Bangladesh.

The ‘very severe’ cyclone ‘Bulbul’, which barrelled through the coastal districts of West Bengal before hurtling towards Bangladesh, claimed 10 lives in the State and affected 2.73 lakh families, official reports said on Sunday. In Odisha, heavy rain and high-velocity winds claimed two lives. 

The severe cyclonic storm, which brought in its wake heavy rain coupled with gale wind till early Sunday, uprooted hundreds of trees and snapped cables in Kolkata and in the coastal districts of North and South 24 Parganas and East Midnapore, bringing life to a near-halt.

At least seven persons were killed and property worth crores damaged in parts of North and South 24 Paraganas, adjacent to Bay of Bengal, following last night’s cyclone Bulbul. 

The deceased have been identified as Suchitra Mondal, a septuagenarian, who was killed when a tree fell on her in Purba makala village in North 24 Paraganas. The others, from the same district, are Reba Biswas, 47, and Manirul Gazi, 59. Mr. Gazi was electrocuted. Two more deaths — in a wall collapse and a tree fall — were reported. 

One person was killed in east Medinipur district and two persons died in South 24 Parganas in cyclone-related incidents, an official said. Body of one fisherman from Fraserganj fishing harbour in South 24 Parganas was recovered, a senior official of state Disaster Management department said. Earlier on Saturday even before the cyclone hit the coast, an employee of a renowned club in the city was killed when a branch of a cedar tree fell on him. during heavy rain.

Eight other fishermen and four trawlers from Fraserganj were still missing, the official said.

2.73 lakh families affected

State Disaster Management Minister Javed Khan said that at least 2,473 houses were destroyed and another 26,000 were partially damaged in the cyclone in the coastal districts along the Bay of Bengal, with the fishing towns of Bakkhali and Namkhana being among the worst-affected areas.

While 2.73 lakh families were affected in the storm, 1.78 lakh people were moved to relief camps set up in nine places of the State, he said, adding that 46,000 tarpaulin sheets were distributed among people whose residences were damaged in the cyclone.

Centre assures assistance

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee separately on Sunday and assured her of all help from the central government in rescue and relief operations in areas affected by cyclone Bulbul.

The Mr. Shah said 10 teams of the National Disaster Response Force had been deployed in West Bengal and six teams in Odisha. Additional 18 teams of NDRF have been kept on standby, he added.

"Reviewed the situation in the wake of cyclone conditions and heavy rain in parts of Eastern India," Mr. Modi tweeted.

Ms. Banerjee cancelled her North Bengal trip and said that she would conduct an aerial survey of the affected areas around Namkhana and Bakkhali as the weather clears.

“Later, I would take a meeting at Kakdwip with administration to review relief and rehabilitation measures of the cyclone-affected people. I am also planning to visit the cyclone-affected areas of Basirhat of North 24-Parganas on 13 November, 2019,” Ms. Banerjee tweeted on Sunday.

Power lines disrupted

Many trees were uprooted in Kolkata and power supply was disrupted in several districts following the falling of trees on electric wires; distribution posts collapsed in many places as well.

 State’s Power Minister Sovandeb Chattopadhyay said measures were being taken to restore power supply in areas where electric cables have been torn apart due to the cyclone.

Likely to weaken

Gale wind with gusts up to 135 kmph prevailed over the coastal districts of South 24 Parganas and East Midnapore and its adjoining areas in North 24 Parganas as the cyclone made landfall around midnight on Saturday.

Although heavy rainfall to minor drizzle continued throughout the day and night on Saturday, Sunday was bright and sunny.

 However, the weather department said that there is a possibility of minor rainfall late on Sunday night as the cyclone moved towards Sunderbans in Bangladesh. 

The cyclonic storm is likely to weaken into a deep depression and further into a depression as it moves east- northeastwards over coastal Bangladesh, the IMD said in a bulletin on Sunday.

(With PTI inputs)

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 8:22:18 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/several-killed-as-cyclone-bulbul-disrupts-normal-life-in-bengal/article29936816.ece

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