'Worse than Coronavirus': Mamata Banerjee on Cyclone Amphan impact
Kolkata, May 20: As the severe cyclonic storm pounded Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that the impact of Cyclone Amphan on West Bengal has been worse than the coronavirus pandemic.
"The impact of Amphan is worse than coronavirus... Damages may be worth Rs 1 lakh crore," Banerjee said, appealing for help.
"It is difficult to tell the actual death figure at present but I am hearing 10-12 people have died so far," she also said.
An extremely severe cyclone packing winds of up to 190 kmph roared into West Bengal Wednesday, dumping heavy rain and leaving a trail of destruction that left at least three people dead.
After making landfall at 2.30 pm between Digha in West Bengal and Hatiya island in Bangladesh, cyclone Amphan cut a swathe through the coastal areas, flattening fragile dwellings, uprooting trees and electric poles.
At least 6.58 lakh people were evacuated in West Bengal and Odisha before the cyclone struck.
The intensity of the cyclone near its centre as the landfall process started was recorded at 160-170 kmph, gusting to 190 kmph," the weather department said.
Two women were killed in Howrah district and Minakhan area of North 24 Parganas district due to uprooting of trees, an official said.
NDRF chief S N Pradhan told a press conference in New Delhi that 20 teams of the federal disaster response force had already begun road clearing operations in Odisha, while the 19 units deployed in West Bengal were shifting people to safety.