Kolkata / Dhaka: Officials said that in more than a decade, the strongest cyclones that attacked eastern India and Bangladesh killed at least 82 people. Rescue teams searched the affected coastal villages and were hindered by the demolition of power lines and the flood of land.
Officials said that the massive evacuation organized by the authorities before Hurricane Anpan landed undoubtedly saved countless lives, but only after the restoration of communication can we know all the casualties and property losses.
In West Bengal, India, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Thursday that at least 72 people were killed-most of them were killed by electric shocks or trees uprooted by gusty winds, with gusts of up to 185 kilometers (115 mph) per hour.
In neighboring Bangladesh, the initial loss was 10. “I have never seen such a hurricane in my life. This seems to be the end of the world. All I can do is pray … Allah Almighty saved us,” Ali, 49, of Azgar, is off the coast of Bangladesh. Residents of the Satkhira area told Reuters.
Mohammad Asaduzzaman, a high-ranking police officer in the area, said the storm had torn the tin roof, stolen the wires, and flooded many villages.
When the cyclone struck the Bay of Bengal on Wednesday, a storm surge of about five meters high caused flooding in the low-lying coastal area.
Television footage taken by Reuters in West Bengal showed that the boat on the shore was tilted upwards, people were wading in the water with deep knees, and the buses collided. More pictures show that the villagers tried to lift the fallen telephone poles, and the fishermen dragged their boats out of the rough seas, and the uprooted trees spread all over the countryside.
Amphan, designated as a super cyclone, has weakened since landing. Crossing the interior of Bangladesh, the Indian Meteorological Agency downgraded it to a hurricane on Thursday. The storm is expected to subside later.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi posted a tweet expressing concern about the people of West Bengal.
He said: “We have been seeing the devastation caused by Hurricane Ampang in West Bengal. At this challenging time, the entire country stands with West Bengal.”
People are paying more and more attention to the floods in the Sundarbans area, which is an ecologically fragile area, spanning the India-Bangladesh border and known for its dense mangrove forests and its tiger reserves.
“The tide flooded a part of the forest,” said forest official Beleye Hussain on the Bangladesh side of the forest. He said: “We saw the trees uprooted and the iron roof of the guard tower was blown up.”
On the Indian side of the Sundarbans, a village official said that the embankment around a low-lying island was washed away, where about 5,000 people lived, and he could not contact the authorities for help.
“Since last night, we have been unable to tell them anything, the official Sanjib Sagar told Reuters.a