Storm’s over: Aila’s devastation is just sinking in
Kolkata woke up to a sunny morning on Tuesday but it was far from cheerful, given the fact that Cyclone Aila had left 62 people dead and rendered more than four lakh homeless in the last 24 hours.kolkata Updated: May 27, 2009 00:00 IST
Kolkata woke up to a sunny morning on Tuesday but it was far from cheerful, given the fact that Cyclone Aila had left 62 people dead and rendered more than four lakh homeless in the last 24 hours.
The city itself bore the scars — uprooted trees, lamp posts lying on roads and large areas without electricity or water. Many schools remained closed and people avoided going to work.
In the districts that bore the brunt of the storm — North and South 24 Parganas districts— two army columns carried out rescue and relief operations, Chief Secretary Ashok Mohan Chakrabarty said.
Union Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee took a special train to Kakdwip in South 24 Parganas to asses the damage. Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee wasn’t far behind, meeting district officials in another area in the district.
South 24 Parganas accounted for the highest number of deaths (16) and had hundreds of its residents without food and shelter.
Bhattacharjee told reporters the district administration would send 10 lakh metric tonnes of rice and pulses on emergency basis. There is also an acute crisis of drinking water and the administration has decided to install 100 tubewells. Fifty thousand water pouches will be air-dropped in the meantime.
The good new?
“The cyclone has weakened and lost much of its intensity last night and now has turned into a depression over North Bengal, lying close to Siliguri today. It will weaken further and totally wither away,” said G.C. Debnath, director at the Regional Meteorological Centre.
(With PTI inputs)