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Cyclone Bulbul: Eight killed, 7,000 houses destroyed in West Bengal; PM assures help to state government


Cyclone_bulbul-PTI

KOLKATA: Cyclone Bulbul, which made landfall between West Bengal and Bangladesh coast on Saturday, claimed eight lives affecting normal life in several parts of the coastal districts.

The cyclone demolished around 7,000 houses and uprooted more than 9,000 trees in East Midnapore, South 24-Parganas and North 24-Parganas districts, said a preliminary report submitted by district administrations.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah called chief minister Mamata Banerjee and assured all help to the Bengal government. The state government is reviewing the situation using drones to assess the extent of the damage. The district administrations have kept around 1.2 lakh affected people in 315 shelter centres.

The state education department announced on Sunday that schools would remain close in the affected areas on Monday. The chief minister said the state government would help the affected persons financially.

In a Tweet, Modi said, "Spoke to WB CM regarding the situation arising due to Cyclone Bulbul. Assured all possible helps from the Centre. I pray for Everyone’s safety and well-being."

Bulbul claimed five lives, including three women, in North 24-Parganas and one person died in South 24-Parganas and another man in East Midnapore district. An employee of a renowned club in south Kolkata also lost his life in the calamity. All the victims died after either a tree or branches fell on them.

The chief minister said the state government would help the affected persons financially. "We are reviewing the aftermath situation. Compensation packages will be announced after the assessment is done," Mamata said.

A scene from North 24-Parganas district | PTI

The CM cancelled her north Bengal tour scheduled to be held in the coming week. She will conduct an aerial survey of the affected areas in South 24-Parganas district and on November 13 and will visit the affected areas in North 24-Parganas district.

In a Tweet, Mamata said, "Due to severe cyclonic storm Bulbul, I have decided to postpone my north Bengal visit in the coming week. Instead, I would take an aerial survey of the affected areas around Namkhana and Bakkhali. Later, I would take a meeting at Kakdwip with administration to review the relief and rehabilitation measures of the cyclone-affected people."

Tele-communication in the three affected coastal districts were hit badly as more than 950 mobile towers were damaged in the cyclone. Kolkata airport resumed flight operations from 6 am on Sunday after suspending operations for 12 hours.

State power minister Sovandeb Chattopadhyay said measures were being taken to restore power supply in affected areas. The Union home department said 10 teams of the NDRF had been deployed for West Bengal and additional 18 teams have been kept on standby.     

Personnel of Disaster Management Group (DMG) have been engaged to rescue people from the affected areas and clear the thoroughfares blocked by uprooted trees. 

Coastal police personnel have been patrolling on riverine routes in the coastal areas of South 24-Parganas and East Midnapore districts.

(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)