Nature unleashes her wrath again, this time as a super cyclone that arose at the Bay of Bengal. Super cyclone Amphan hit areas of West Bengal, Odisha, and Bangladesh on Wednesday, causing widespread destruction.
Path of the cyclone.
The super cyclone hit Sunderbans, a mangrove forest near the Bay of Bengal, early on Wednesday, 20th May. Moving at a speed of 160km/hr. the cyclone moved north and northeastward from Sunderbans and hit southwestern parts of Bangladesh and eastern states of India. In West Bengal and Odisha a massive havoc was wrecked within 24 hours after which it made its way north, towards Nepal and Bhutan. Although it lost most of its strength after destroying the initial targets, it caused heavy rain and flood in farther regions of the north.
Bangladesh has lost approximately 14 people to the cyclone. Khulna and Shatkhira are among the more damaged areas of Bangladesh although the entire assessment of the cyclone hasn’t yet been completed. Aman was considered to be the most fatal cyclone after Cyclone Sidr which had taken around 3500 lives, back in 2007.
West Bengal and Odisha suffered the maximum damage to the super cyclone. Over 80 people lost their lives to it with 19 casualties being in Kolkata itself, the capital of West Bengal. Orissa has not suffered any loss of life but the coastal areas have been massively damaged.
In Sunderbans, the protective banks were washed away leaving irreparable damage to more than 2 lakh farmers.
The cyclone uprooted massive trees and electricity poles with incredible ease and even shook the buildings like an earthquake. Civilians reported to cracks in buildings, crashing down of glass windows and cars being crushed by fallen trees and poles. It caused floods in most areas with a power cut and internet shut down for over two days in certain areas.
In West Bengal, more than seven districts have been affected by North 24 Pargana, South 24 Pargana, and East Midnapore being the epicenter of the damage, according to administration.
Reaction to the cyclone
CM of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee said, “I have never seen such disaster. All areas have faced destruction. Nothing is left.”
She promised 2 lakhs of relief to the kin of the deceased and 50,000k to the injured. She sought help from the Centre and assured everyone that during the time of crisis all political agenda would be set aside so that they can work together.
She added that Bengal had seen such a destruction previously in the year 1737.
PM Modi, Ms. Banerjee, and Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar conveyed an aerial survey of the destruction on the 22nd of May.
BJP state leaders including President Dilip Ghosh welcomed the PM at the airport.
CM Banerjee had sought an economic package from the Centre for the rebuilding of infrastructure and general employment in the state.
On the evening of 22nd May after a clear assessment of the destruction, PM announced 1000 Crore Interim Relief for Bengal and 500 Crore for Odisha.
PM had tweeted earlier “No stone will be left unturned in helping the affected. The entire nation stands in solidarity with West Bengal” he wrote, “My thoughts are with the people of Odisha as the state bravely batteries the effects of Cyclone Amphan.”
In Odisha over 150,000 people were evacuated before the cyclone. Pradeep Jena special relief chief commissioner of Odisha said it was a huge struggle to balance the casualties of Coronavirus and the cyclone simultaneously. Special help was provided to pregnant women, children, and the elderly.
In Bangladesh, 2.4 million people were evacuated along with 40,000 livestock.
The labor forces that immediately began their work to restore electricity, remove the fallen trees and poles are to be thanked immensely too.
It was a massive operation for the State and Central Governments of both India and Bangladesh. They evacuated people, animals, barricaded coastal areas, and provided relief to the harmed and unsheltered. All we can hope is solidarity among the leaders in order to overcome this heart-wrenching situation.