Cyclone severely damaged Kolkata International Airport
Cyclone Amphan lashed hard on parts of India and Bangladesh, with winds gusting up to 185km/hr and killing at least 84 people.
It is the first super cyclone in the Bay of Bengal since 1999. Parts of West Bengal and Orissa states in India, as well as south-west regions in Bangladesh, were worst hit by the cyclone.
Amphan made landfall near 5 PM near Sagar Island in West Bengal, near India’s East Cost. It moved towards Kolkataat, a speed of about 160km/hr, according to the data from the US Joint Typhoon Warning Center. Parts of Kolkata have been flooded, and the airport was unoperational for a brief period. Older buildings have been damaged in the city, and many of the roads are littered with debris and uprooted trees.
At least 74 people were killed in India. The majority of the deaths were in West Bengal state, including Kolkata. Reports suggest 13 people were killed in Bangladesh. The exact number of casualties will only be determined after the affected areas will be cleared of the debris, and normalcy is restored.
Director-general of India’s National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) S.N. Pradhan said the worst of the damage took place in two of West Bengal’s coastal districts and that the mangrove area of Sunderbans had been “pulverized” by the cyclone.
“People have started moving out of shelters to assess the damage to their homes. Some have even started repairing their damaged homes,” Pradhan said.
Chief Minister of the Indian state of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee said that the cyclone hit Kolkata was a bigger disaster than COVID-19.
“The whole of the southern part of the state has been affected. We are shocked,” the chief minister said. “The cyclone has affected the electricity supply and destroyed many houses, bridges, and embankments.”
Indian media showed pictures of Kolkata airport inundated with flood water, with some hangers collapsed.
Most coastal Bangladesh was hit by the cyclone, and local authorities are assessing the damage caused by Amphan. An official of the country’s disaster management ministry said that the damage is “huge.”