Cyclone Amphan (pronounced UM-PUN) wrought havoc in coastal West Bengal on Wednesday, claiming at least 72 lives.
The cyclone came at a time when people in the state were struggling with the fallout of the coronavirus outbreak and nationwide lockdown.
Millions of people are evacuating as Tropical Cyclone #Amphan approaches eastern #India and #Bangladesh. This image shows the storm at 16:15 Universal Time (9:45 p.m. India Standard Time) on May 19. https://t.co/MB8hZwx12M pic.twitter.com/8kwHT2OxUT
— NASA Earth (@NASAEarth) May 19, 2020
Cyclone Amphan has claimed at least 72 lives and left behind a trail of destruction in Kolkata and several other parts of West Bengal after it made landfall on Wednesday noon. Across the state, power and telephone lines were snapped, leaving many without electricity or means of communication.
Visuals shared by residents from across West Bengal show waterlogged streets, uprooted trees, submerged vehicles and massive damage to homes and property.
— PDG (@PratimDGupta) May 21, 2020
The super cyclonic storm crossed the Bengal coast near Digha at around 2.30 pm with wind speeds of 155-165 kmph, gusting to 285 kmph.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has announced a Rs 2 lakh compensation for the families of the deceased. “I would request Prime Minister Narendra Modi to come and visit Cyclone Amphan-affected areas,” Mamata Banerjee said at a press conference on Thursday.
Earlier, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the widespread destruction in the state was a “bigger disaster than COVID-19”. Banerjee said it will take at least three or four days to assess the extent of damage.
Kolkata and several other parts of West Bengal wore a battered look after the extremely severe cyclone ‘Amphan’ left a trail of devastation in the state, blowing away shanties, uprooting thousands of trees besides swamping low-lying areas.
Netizens have been sharing the photos and videos of the intensity of the supercyclone that devastation it has left behind.
Video from Digha, West Bengal. Super cyclone Amphan just about to have a landfall. pic.twitter.com/fDltZKgSC2
— Stranger (@amarDgreat) May 20, 2020
Operations at Kolkata airport were suspended after severe flooding and strong winds caused damage to the tarmac, runway and hangars. Several parked aircraft appeared to be partially under water.
— Ishadrita Lahiri (@ishadrita) May 21, 2020
— Supriya Bhardwaj (@Supriya23bh) May 20, 2020
Electric outage in Phool Bagan, Kolkata caused due to the cyclone. Please pray for the ones who are not fortunate enough to have proper shelter in these challenging times. #CycloneAmphan #CycloneAmphanUpdate #AmphanSuperCyclone #Amphan pic.twitter.com/Lx2FsOyc0e
— Akshay (@TheAkshayBothra) May 20, 2020
As many as five lakh people have been evacuated and moved to cyclone shelters by the state government.
The recurring devastation and its impact on low lying regions of the world and the poorer countries have to be also kept in mind. Climate change dialogue cannot be complete with the inclusion of marginalised voices.
My heart is breaking for India and Bangladesh today as Cyclone Amphan makes landfall.
This is the story of the climate emergency over and over and over again: The most marginalized people in the world are bearing the brunt of the worst impacts.
This is such cruel injustice 💔 pic.twitter.com/2FD2X7OEzM
— Eric Holthaus (@EricHolthaus) May 20, 2020