The state of West Bengal is grappling with two crises at the same time with the coronavirus not showing any signs of slowing down and the aftermath of the worst cyclone in three decades – Cyclone Amphan.
Until Wednesday, the Cyclone Amphan that has hit the states of West Bengal and Assam have claimed 76 lives only in West Bengal. 15 of them are in Kolkata. The 95-year-old resident of Kolkata Ashok Roy says it is the worst cyclone he has seen in his life. He recalls being visibly shaken by the ferocity of the cyclone and the destruction it has caused across the state. More than half of all the districts in the state have been severely affected.
As the winds of the cyclone blew at a speed of 190 kilometers per hour, the buses and taxis in the roads collided with each other, the boats turned upside down and the grounded planes quivered. Like the coronavirus, the migrants were on the receiving end of the cyclone as well. 45-year-old Jamal Mondal who had just returned to his home from Bengaluru had little over a day to experience the relief as the cyclone flattened his mud house. He spoke to a news channel and said,
“On Monday, when I reached home, I thought my sufferings were over. But I was wrong. The lockdown took away my job and the cyclone took away everything that was left. I do not know what would I do next, where would I stay and how would I feed my family.”
Mamata Banerjee asks the support of Center
A large part of the state has lost electricity as either the poles have been uprooted or the trees have hampered transmission. In Kolkata, over 14 lakh people have been living without electricity since Wednesday. More than 1500 mobile network towers have been destroyed causing the suspension of internet and mobile services. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee briefed the media and said,
“Our situation is such that I am unable to connect with the district magistrates as there is no network. Even our state secretariat was shaking and the window panes are broken. I thought the building would collapse. I have told the Union Home Minister that I have never seen this kind of a disaster. We require help. For COVID also, we got no help.”
Source: Free Press Journal