At least 12 dead, both 24 Parganas completely destroyed: Mamata

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, on Wednesday evening, said that Cyclone Amphan had claimed at least 10-12 lives and ‘completely destroyed’ the districts of North and South 24 Parganas.

She added that the losses incurred could run into hundreds of crores of rupees.

“Many houses have been destroyed, rivers and lakes are overflowing. Our office Nabanna is also damaged. From communication networks to rice fields, everything has been damaged. Most people have died as trees have been uprooted and houses broken. We are shocked.”

She further added that if 5 lakh people weren’t evacuated before, the destruction would have been worse.

‘We can overcome the disaster with your blessings and support,” said Mamata while mentioning that the real damage caused by the cyclone will only be clear after 10 days. While Digha, a town along the coastline of Bay of Bengal, was not hit badly, many places like Rajarhat, Habra, Sandeshkhali, Bonga and Hasnabad were in a pretty bad state, according to her.

"We are facing greater damage and devastation than COVID-19," Mamata said, referring to the disease that has so far killed 250 people in the state.

PTI adds: Despite losing its force a bit since Tuesday, the storm, which was categorised as super cyclone at one point of time, has left the two eastern states of West Bengal and Odisha on edge as it hollered on its destructive path over the Bay of Bengal.

Intense rainfall was recorded in several areas of Odisha like Puri, Khurda, Jagatsinghpur, Cuttack, Kendrapara, Jajpur, Ganjam, Ganjam, Bhadrak and Balasore districts since Tuesday.

The rains and high-velocity winds will ebb away in Odisha by late Wednesday night by when the cyclone will likely have caused massive damage to standing crops, plantations and infrastructure, India Meteorological Department (IMD) Director General Mrityunjay Mohapatra said.

He said tidal surge of up to five metres could occur in North and South 24 Parganas and East Midnapore districts that could submerge areas in a radius of 15 km.

Mohapatra said the storm will reach Kolkata in all its fury later in the evening and winds blowing at 110-120 kmph, and gusting at 135 kmph, coupled with downpour, will batter the capital city.

The strong winds and rain could continue till tomorrow in West Bengal, he said.