News: Cyclone ‘Amphan’ has ravaged large parts of West Bengal and Odisha over the course of two days, with a death toll of at least 72 persons as of 3:50 PM on May 21 as cited by West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee.
- An extremely severe cyclone packing winds of up to 190 kmph rampaged through coastal Odisha and West Bengal, dumping heavy rain, swamping homes and farmland. Communications are only now slowly getting back up.
- Mamata Banerjee reported that the damage caused by the cyclone was worse than the damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, valuing the loss as Rs 1 lakh crore. She added that though five lakh people have been evacuated, state authorities had not entirely anticipated the ferocity of the cyclone.
- She has also announced compensation of Rs 2 to 2.5 lakhs for the families of all the deceased. Over five lakh people were evacuated out of risk zone on West Bengal.
- The cyclone’s trajectory suggests that many Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh are at risk for high winds and rain which are likely to cause damage. This group is also highly susceptible and vulnerable to the novel coronavirus and has a number of confirmed cases.
- CPI(M) has called for Cyclone Amphan to be classified as a National Disaster, and CM Banerjee is asking the Union government to “forget politics” and help the people of West Bengal and Odisha.
UPDATE: The cyclone has turned into a deep depression and moved towards the north and north-east, affecting parts of Bangladesh, with a death toll of 10 persons as of 4 PM on May 21.