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Cyclone Remal kills 22, damages over 30,000 houses in West Bengal and Bangladesh

Cyclone Remal struck the West Bengal-Bangladesh coastline with winds up to 135 km/h, causing significant damage and loss of life. The storm resulted in 22 deaths across both regions, though millions were evacuated, reducing fatalities. Extensive flooding and infrastructural damage occurred, including power outages affecting 1.5 million in Bangladesh. 

Cyclone Remal kills 22, damages over 30,000 houses in West Bengal and Bangladesh vkp
First Published May 28, 2024, 9:56 AM IST

Cyclone Remal struck the West Bengal-Bangladesh coastline with fierce intensity, causing widespread damage and a significant loss of life. The cyclone, which hit land at midnight on Sunday, reached wind speeds of up to 135 kilometres per hour and led to the evacuation of millions to safer areas, a decision that saved numerous lives.

West Bengal, where the storm later diminished in intensity by Monday morning, reported six fatalities due to the severe weather conditions. Across the border in Bangladesh, the toll was higher with 16 reported dead. The proactive evacuation efforts helped minimize the number of deaths and injuries.

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The impact of the cyclone was severe, with West Bengal experiencing up to 30 centimetres of rainfall, leading to catastrophic flooding and extensive damage. Approximately 2,500 homes were destroyed and 27,500 suffered partial damage. The region also saw over 2,500 trees being uprooted, with many obstructing rivers, and about 337 electric poles were toppled, compounding the disaster.

Bangladesh faced its own set of challenges as precautionary power outages left about 1.5 million people without electricity throughout the stormy night. In total, the cyclone affected over 3.5 million people in the country, with floodwaters invading low-lying areas as the waves surged to heights of six feet.

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As the cyclone weakened, life began to crawl back to normalcy in the affected regions. West Bengal resumed train, flight, and port services suspended at the week's start due to the adverse weather. This gradual restoration of services marks the beginning of a long recovery process for the region.

The cyclone, named 'Remal' by Oman, which translates to 'sand' in Arabic, was part of the international naming system that assigns names to such storms to aid in effective communication and disaster management.

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