Evacuations due to cyclone; strong winds and precipitation are carried out while both countries maintain lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Cyclone “extremely severe” Amphan that hit the eastern coast of India and southwest Bangladesh left at least 22 dead and the evacuation of three million people, authorities said on Thursday, who also reported serious damage due to floods and winds.
The cyclone that hit the shores of the Bay of Bengal with gusts of up to 185 km / h Wednesday afternoon devastated several areas of eastern India, destroying homes, electrical installations and vehicles, leaving thousands of families homeless at a time when he was already critical of the crisis unleashed by COVID-19.
“I have never seen devastation like this in my life. Almost 99% of 24 Parganas, one of the districts where the cyclone hit, was destroyed. The damage to the state is worse than that suffered by the coronavirus,” he said. Mamata Banerjee, Head of Government of the state of Bengal, the most affected by the passage of the cyclone.
The director of the Indian National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Randeep Kumar Rana, confirmed that in that district “there is no electricity, many of the electric lines and poles have fallen and telecommunications have not been restored either.“
An initial assessment by the Indian authorities indicated that at least 10 people died in accidents caused by the cyclone, and four coastal districts were heavily affected. Calcutta airport, the capital of Bengal, was partially flooded and several facilities completely destroyed.
The cyclone also impacted with violence the southwest of Bangladesh, where at least 12 people died in eight districts, most of them due to the collapse of the houses and the fall of trees, a spokesman for the center of Emergency Operations Center informed. Bangladesh Health, Ayesha Akter.
Among the deceased is a Red Crescent volunteer, who drowned after his boat capsized due to high winds when taking evacuees to a shelter.
“It is a difficult situation here. There is no electricity since the cyclone started, the roads are also blocked by falling trees,” Moshiur Rahman, a police officer in the city of Jessore, in the southwest of the country, told.
About 15 million users suffered power outages, said Maj. Gen. Moin Uddin, chairman of the Bangladesh Rural Electricity Board, while noting that work to restore the service is underway.
According to the Indian Department of Meteorology, Cyclonic storm Amphan spread last morning over Bangladesh, “to weaken into a deep depression for the next three hours.”
The Bay of Bengal often suffers from the passage of cyclones that usually occur between April and May, and October and November, although new prevention technologies have helped India and Bangladesh to abruptly decrease the victims of these catastrophes.
Amphan is the most powerful cyclone in the region since it hit the coast of the eastern Indian state of Odisha in 1999, leaving more than 9,000 dead.