Amidst the continued fight against the coronavirus disease, more than 80 people perished after Cyclone Amphan brought devastation in the coastal towns and cities of Bangladesh and India, Wednesday.
Thousands of people were also rendered homeless while authorities are still grappling to help the said communities as they face another tragedy in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak. Roads in the area are currently impassable due to heavy rains and debris left by the cyclone.
According to the authorities, many lives have been saved by large-scale evacuation. However, it could still take days to verify the severity of the damage brought by the cyclone in terms of injuries, casualties, and damage to property.
Before it lost strength, Cyclone Amphan is the strongest that has ever hit the Bay of Bengal. As it passed by the area it washed away bridges, uprooted trees, and cut-off communication channels and electricity in the majority of the rural areas.
According to initial reports, at least 72 deaths have been recorded in the state of West Bengal. This number already includes 15 casualties in Kolkota. Moreover, one of those who perished in the cyclone is a young girl who was killed by a collapsing wall inside her home.
Mamata Banerjee, chief minister of the state said that he has never seen a disaster cause this much devastation in their area. He added that the cyclone took almost everything and that all areas are suffering from massive destruction.
Meanwhile, in Bangladesh, the Governmental Health Emergency Operations Center reported that there have been 10 confirmed deaths after the cyclone hit. One of those who were killed was a volunteer of the Red Crescent Movement, who died amid his effort to bring others to safety. According to the Red Crescent Society of Bangladesh, the 57-year-old volunteer died of drowning.
Disaster teams work round the clock
Rescue operations and disaster clean up were done by response teams throughout Wednesday night until Thursday. They continuously looked for survivors and cleared out trees and debris from blocking the roads.
According to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi the destruction that the cyclone caused was like nothing he has witnessed before. She also stressed that like the destruction that was caused by the cyclone, not a single stone will be left unturned in bringing help to the people affected.
NDRF teams are working in the cyclone affected parts. Top officials are closely monitoring the situation and also working in close coordination with the West Bengal government. No stone will be left unturned in helping the affected. — Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 21, 2020
In a statement released by India's National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) it was stated that the destruction is mostly concentrated West Bengal. It was also noted the Sunderbans, a group of low-lying islands that are ecologically fragile was almost pulverized by the hit of the cyclone.
On the other hand, the NDRF said that in a span of four to six days, those areas which were affected the least may be able to recover. While some of the coastal areas are already expected to be up and running by Friday.
However, in Kolkata which is the biggest city lying in the direct path of the cyclone, the majority of its 14 million residents are heavily affected. The NDRF also described the devastation as something that the city has never witnessed before.