India, Bangladesh begin clean-up after cyclone Amphan

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Authorities in eastern India and Bangladesh have been struggling to restore road links, communication lines and electricity after a devastating cyclone in which at least 95 people were killed.

India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi announced an emergency aid of 10 billion repees($131.7m) for the state, which bore the brunt of Cyclone Amphan

“I assure my brothers and sisters of West Bengal that the entire country stands with you in these difficult times,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday after conducting an aerial survey of the devastation in the state.

More than 70 people have been killed in the state.

The state’s chief minister, Mamata Banerjee, who accompanied Modi, had earlier said the cyclone was worse than the coronavirus that has killed more than 3,000 people in India.

Cyclone Amphan made landfall on Wednesday accompanied by high-speed winds and torrential rain.

It destroyed homes and crops, uprooted trees, submerged vast tracts of land and snapped power and communication lines in both India and Bangladesh.

According to disaster management officials, eighty of the 95 deaths recorded are from West Bengal and Odisha states in India and 15 from Bangladesh.

Most of the deaths were caused by trees falling on thatched houses, the collapse of parts of buildings due to the impact of the winds and rain, and electrocution, officials said.

The United Nations office in Bangladesh estimates some 10 million people were affected, and some 500,000 people may have lost their homes.

Improved weather forecasting helped Bangladesh to move some 2.4 million people into shelters or out of the storm’s direct path, while India evacuated some 650,000.

 

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