Cyclone Amphan latest: 72 dead in West Bengal, additional NDRF teams being sent
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has said that Cyclone Amphan has taken 72 lives in the state. The West Bengal government has announced Rs 2 lakh compensation for the next of kin of those killed in the devastation unleashed by the super cyclone, reported PTI.
Mamata Banerjee also invited prime minister Narendra Modi to visit Bengal to witness the scale of destruction caused by the cyclone.
“I would request Prime Minister Narendra Modi to come and visit Cyclone Amphan-affected areas,” Banerjee was quoted as saying by PTI.
Earlier today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had assured that the country stands in solidarity with the state of West Bengal in this hour of grief. He added that the centre was making all efforts to help normalize the situation.
“Have been seeing visuals from West Bengal on the devastation caused by Cyclone Amphan. In this challenging hour, the entire nation stands in solidarity with West Bengal. Praying for the well-being of the people of the state. Efforts are on to ensure normalcy, Prime Minister had said in a tweet.
Similar assurance of cooperation was offered by home minister Amit Shah who said the centre was closely monitoring the situation while promising all possible help.
The death toll has been revised by the state after it initially reported the loss of around 12 lives in the mayhem caused by the cyclone, one of the strongest to have hit Bengal in the recent memory. CM Mamata Banerjee is meeting with the state task force to make a preliminary assessment of the damage. She had earlier said that it would take at least three to four days to completely assess the destruction caused as several areas in the state are totally cut off.
The storm began its landfall at 2:30 pm on Wednesday with sustained wind speeds of 155-165 kmph spiralling up to 185 kmph, causing widespread damage to people, cultivation and structures.
The cylone has now crossed Bengal and is stationed over Bangladesh, however, it is expected to cause mild to heavy rains in the northeastern states of the country.
The cabinet secretary held a meeting of National Crisis Management Committee to review the post-cyclone situation on Thursday. Chief secretaries of West Bengal and Odisha were present. The NCMC decided to send additional teams of the NDRF to Bengal for restoration and relief work.
The Director General of the National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) said that soon after Cyclone Amphan hit the state of Bengal, NDRF teams fanned out and started rescue work in the evening
He added that the situation in Odisha was under control and there was hope that life in the state will be back to normal in 24 - 48 hours.
Cyclone Amphan also caused destruction and loss of at least three lives in Odisha as it brushed past the state to make a landfall between coastal West Bengal and Bangladesh.