Villagers repair their house damaged by cyclone Amphan in Satkhira, Bangladesh, on Friday. Munir Uz Zaman/AFP
India authorities on Friday began assessing damage and clearing roads in the wake of Cyclone Amphan that killed more than 80 people and left millions displaced after barreling through the coastal communities of eastern India and neighboring Bangladesh.
In West Bengal state, which bore the brunt of the storm that caused extensive flooding in its capital Kolkata, police and teams from India’s national disaster response force removed fallen trees and other debris, repaired communication lines and started getting hundreds of thousands of people out of shelters.
Amphan hit land Wednesday as the most powerful storm in the region in more than a decade, dumping heavy rain amid a battering storm surge.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi left New Delhi to conduct an aerial survey of the worst-hit areas of West Bengal and Odisha states. It was Modi’s first trip outside the national capital after a coronavirus lockdown was imposed in late March.
Modi promised Thursday "no stone will be left unturned in helping the affected.”
In an initial assessment, officials in Bangladesh said the cyclone caused about $130 million in damage to infrastructure, housing, fisheries, livestock, water resources and agriculture. The full extent of the damage along India's eastern coast was not immediately known.
Authorities in both countries managed to evacuate more than 3 million people before Amphan struck.
At least 72 people were killed in West Bengal state, and two more deaths were reported in neighboring Odisha state. Bangladesh reported 13 deaths.Associated Press
Bangladesh carried out one of its biggest ever evacuation drives, moving some 2.1 million people to cyclone shelters specially built to minimise casualties from such storms, which can claim thousands of victims.
Heavy rains have caused widespread flooding in parts of India and Bangladesh, leaving millions stranded and at least 57 dead, officials said on Saturday.
The Meteorological Department has asked local authorities and two ports to raise their highest alert, as the cyclone is expected to unleash a storm surge as high as seven feet (two metres) in coastal districts.
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