Super-cyclone Amphan batters India, 4.5 lakh evacuated in West Bengal, Odisha

Super-cyclone Amphan, one of the worst cyclones over the Bay of Bengal, centred about 170 km south of West Bengal’s Digha on Wednesday.

About 4.5 lakh people have been evacuated from vulnerable areas in West Bengal and Odisha ahead of its landfall.

Following the cyclone’s Amphan’s landfall in West Bengal on Wednesday afternoon, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee along with Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha monitor the situation from the Emergency Operation Centre at the state secretariat, Nabanna.

The CM has already ordered the officials of the affected districts to assess the cyclone-inflicted damage. She also kept in constant touch with the DMs, sources said.

The Bengal government has also formed rapid response teams to ensure that tigers from Sundarbans in South 24 Parganas district do not stray into nearby human settlements after the landfall.

A senior official of state secretariat said, “With the ongoing crisis due to the Covid-19 situation, relief operation and restoration work will become very difficult. So, the Chief Minister is worried and wants to start relief work as early as possible.”

The Met department issued an “orange message” for West Bengal, warning of extensive damage in Kolkata, Hooghly, Howrah, South and North 24 Parganas and East Midnapore districts.

Meanwhile, a close watch is being kept, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) Director General S N Pradhan said on Wednesday.

He said all 20 teams present in Odisha have been deployed, leaving none in reserve, while in West Bengal 19 teams have been deployed, while two have been kept in reserve.

The full extent of the casualties and damage to property in Bangladesh would only be known once communications were restored, officials said, but at least eight people died in Bangladesh, according to The Jakarta Post.


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