By Yoshita Singh
CYCLONE Amphan, which has left at least 80 dead and left thousands homeless in West Bengal, is now considered even more destructive than cyclone Aila which slammed southern Bangladesh and eastern India in 2009, the UN has said.
Cyclone Amphan, the strongest to hit the region in nearly two decades, made landfall on Wednesday evening. It has battered several parts of the State, washing away bridges and swamping low-lying areas.
Seven districts badly hit are South 24 Paraganas, North 24 Paraganas, East Medinipur, West Medinipur, Howrah, Hooghly and Kolkata, with damage also reported in the district of Birbhum.
“The UN Country Team in India reported that cyclone Amphan, which caused widespread damage around Calcutta is now considered even more destructive than cyclone Aila, which slammed the region in May 2009,” the UN said in a news report.
Power and telecommunications have been affected across the cyclone-affected districts and North and South 24 Parganas are facing water scarcity. Massive damage is also expected to standing crops and plantations.
The UN report said that while fires have maimed transformers and telecommunications in Kolkata, uprooted trees and damaged electric poles have caused power cuts.
Several roads have been blocked, shops damaged, and streets waterlogged from the heavy rainfall during high tide. Embankment breaches have occurred throughout the State while water inundation and wind have damaged Kolkata airport.