KOLKATA: After Cyclone Amphan laid waste to parts of West Bengal and Odisha, residents of a south Kolkata locality woke up to a scary sight that they could have only seen in their worst nightmares — two bodies floating on the water while the street lay submerged in front of their houses.
They had no option but to shut their doors and windows to prevent their children from taking a glimpse of the spine-chilling aftermath of the cyclone.
The state capital was hit by Amphan with wind speeds reaching almost 130 kmph on Wednesday afternoon, which left a trail of devastation all over the city. In Kolkata,15 people died because of the cyclone.
Some were electrocuted while others were victims of a wall collapse.
More than 5,000 trees were uprooted, blocking most of the arterial thoroughfares as well as snapping overhead cables. At several places, traffic signal posts and electric poles got twisted. Carcasses of birds were seen floating on the water which submerged a large part of north Kolkata.
Internet connection was snapped in almost all parts of the city while cellphones could not connect to a network throughout Thursday. Power supply to large chunks was severely disrupted which led to residents of high rises facing drinking water scarcity.
“Sarbonash hoye gelo (It is a catastrophe),’’ reacted chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who was in the control room at State Secretariat, to monitor the situation.
Power minister Sovandeb Chatterjee admitted that normal electric supply would not be restored in Kolkata and its adjoining areas for the next 48 hours.
"Infrastructure has been badly affected. At many places, we will have to replace everything, right from overhead wires, transformers to electric poles. Engineers are working at some places, but in many areas they are waiting for the removal of uprooted trees," he said.
More than 50 disaster management teams of Kolkata Police were pressed into action, trying to remove trees from thoroughfares.
Mayor Firhad Hakim visited the most-affected areas in and around the city.
"All roads will not be cleared by tomorrow. The city never witnessed such a natural calamity before. We are trying our best to bring back normalcy in civic amenities," he said.