New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Cyclone Amphan, the only second cyclonic storm of its kind to hit the country in last two decades, rampaged the coastal areas of Odisha and West Bengal on Wednesday, damaging buildings, destroying houses, uprooting trees and electricity poles and claimed the lives of at least three people in Bengal.

While a man and woman died after tree fell on them in North 24 Paraganas district of West Bengal, a 13-year-old girl died in a similar incident in Howrah.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that at least 3 people have died but the death toll could rise to 10-12.

"As per our initial estimates, 10-12 people have died," she said as quoted by IANS.

She added said that the impact of cyclone Amphan could be worse than coronavirus and claimed damages of about Rs 1 lakh crore.

"We are not getting proper reports as the connections have been completely cut off due to the storm. But the total losses are likely to amount to thousands of crores. It will take at least 3-4 days to do an initial assessment of the losses. Many bridges and kutcha houses have been completely ravaged," IANS quoted her as saying.

"We feel the loss of lives could even surpass that caused by the Covid-19 pandemic," she said, adding, "We will have to rebuild everything."

According to IMD Director General Mrityunjay Mohapatra, the eye of the cycle was 30 kilometers in diameter, made landfall with wind speed up to 185 kilometers and 15 feet tall.

As per reports, Amphan destroyed over 5,000 houses in North 24 Paragansa district. Majority of areas in Howrah and North 34 Paraganas faced massive power cuts due to heavy rainfall accompanied by strong winds as Amphan crossed West Bengal-

Bangladesh coast between Digha and Hatiya Islands, Bangladesh across Sunderbans between 3.30 and 5.30 pm on Wednesday.
Roofs of several houses were collapsed as a result of the gusty winds during the cyclonic storm.

Two teams from NDRF have already started the road clearance work at Shymanpur Block n Howrah district, sources told IANS.

A total of 41 NDRF teams were deployed in Odisha and West Bengal to tackle cyclone Amphan. More than 5 lakh people were evacuated ahead of the landfall on Tuesday in West Bengal and over 1.5 lakh in Odisha in view of the cyclone, said SN Pradhan, chief of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).

In neighbouring, Bangladesh at least seven people lost their lives, reported ANI. The deceased were from Barguna, Satkhira, Pirojpur, Bhola and Patuakhali.

(with agency inputs)

Posted By: James Kuanal