Super cyclone Amphan claims 12 lives in Bengal, now centres over Bangladesh
Barrelling in from the Bay of Bengal with wind speeds of up to 185kmph, severe cyclonic storm Amphan on Wednesday cut a swathe through northern Odisha before bearing down on West Bengal, where it claimed 12 lives
Kolkata/New Delhi: It said that the cyclone is now centred over Bangladesh and it will have no adverse impact over West Bengal and Odisha, a good sign as it cut a swathe through northern Odisha before bearing down on West Bengal.
In Bengan, Amphan cyclone, which slammed into the state around 2.30 pm on Wednesday, claimed 12 lives, flattened houses and cast aside trees and electricity poles like matchsticks in six-and-a-half hours of monstrous fury that left Kolkata and most of south Bengal pulverised.
Visuals from the Kolkata airport showed a flooded tarmac, runways and hangars. In one area, the roof seemed to have caved in. All operations at the airport had been shut till 5 am today.
Only cargo and evacuation flights are operating for now, with passenger flights suspended since March 25, when the country went into lockdown to fight coronavirus.
"Sarbanash hoye galo (It is a catastrophe)," said Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who remained in her office during the storm.
She said the impact of Amphan was worse than the coronavirus pandemic. She claimed the cyclone could have caused damage worth Rs 1 lakh crore.
"Area after area has been devastated. Communications are disrupted," said Banerjee , adding that although 5 lakh people had been evacuated, state authorities had not entirely anticipated the ferocity of the storm.
Meanwhile, Odisha returned to normalcy with shops opening in Patrapada area of Balasore, a day after heavy rainfall and strong winds due to cyclone Amphan hit the region and other parts of the state.