KOLKATA : Cyclone Umpun - the worst in 283 years - killed at least 72 people in West Bengal, of which 15 deaths were reported from Kolkata.
The cyclone made landfall on Wednesdayleaving flattening homes, uprooting trees and crashing down telephone and electricity lines and leaving more than 14 lakh people without power, in its trail. More than 20,000 houses have been destroyed and several of Kolkata’s roads remain flooded.
The storm is the first super cyclone to form in the Bay of Bengal since 1999. Its wind speeds had weakened by the time it struck shores, but was still powerful and classified as severe cyclone.
Apart from flooded roads, Covid-19 restrictions are hindering emergency and relief efforts. Social distancing measures had made mass evacuations difficult with shelters having to be kept filled far below capacity.
Odisha also bore the brunt of gusty winds that sped at 185 km destroying much across its mainland.
The cyclone, that weakened into depression on Friday, is now further reduced to low pressure and currently hovering over North Bangladesh and adjoining regions.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Kolkata and made aerial surveys in West Bengal and Odisha. Upon arrival shortly before 11 am, all three - PM, CM and Governor- were seen wearing face masks.