The eastern Indian city of Kolkata has been devastated by a powerful cyclone which has killed at least 84 people across India and Bangladesh, reports BBC.
Cyclone Amphan made landfall on the far-eastern coast of the Indian subcontinent after moving through the Bay of Bengal. The trajectory of the cyclone will lead it straight towards Bangladesh and West Bengal in India. Soon, it is expected to make its way towards Bhutan.
The situation is made worse by the fact that both countries are currently dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. Social distancing measures have made it difficult for the government to carry out large scale evacuations in an organized manner.
For India, the situation is exacerbated by the fact that many migrant workers are returning to their villages, and as such are without shelter at this point. The casualties from the cyclone in Bangladesh are expected to be above 3,500 people, more than Cyclone Sidr in 2007. In addition to storms, a large amount of devastation is expected to come from rising sea levels caused by the cyclone.
Much of the city and its neighbourhoods have been without electricity for over 17 hours. Mobile phone networks in some of the worst-hit areas are not working either. Local news networks showed visuals of uprooted trees, lampposts and traffic lights.
Images of water logged streets, vehicles crushed under fallen trees and broken river jetties were also all over local media.
“Trees uprooted, power supply snapped, lamp posts unhinged, glass panes in the locality shattered, Internet connections flickered. Children screamed,” Shamik Bag, a resident, told the BBC.
Though the strength of the cyclone has now weakened since it hit land, it is still categorized as extremely severe. It can still cause more carnage along the coast of the Bay of Bengal.
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