Massive relief ops launched as Cyclone Bulbul kills 12 in India
10 deaths were reported from West Bengal, 2 from Odisha and 8 from Bangladesh in the wake of the cyclone

Kolkata (NVI) The Cyclone Bulbul has left 20 people dead and thousands homeless in West Bengal, Odisha, and Bangladesh  besides causing huge damage to property as relief operations were intensified today.

The cyclone claimed at least 12 lives in India as it hit the coastal districts of West Bengal and Odisha in the early hours of Sunday, official reports said adding that the state’s North 24 Parganas district, where the cyclone made the landfall, was the worst-hit district with five deaths reported from there. The cyclone then smashed into the low-lying areas of neighbouring Bangladesh, killing at least 8 people and injuring 15.

The cyclone damaged about 1 lakh houses and standing crops in West Bengal. While electricity has been restored, telecom services are expected to be restored shortly.

In Odisha, two people lost their lives as heavy rain and high-velocity winds triggered by cyclone ‘Bulbul’ wreaked havoc in most parts of the coastal state. The cyclone also caused extensive damage to around 40 per cent standing crops and over six lakh hectares of cultivable land spread over five districts of Odisha.

Massive relief operations have been launched in the two Indian states hit by the cyclone as Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewed the situation and spoke to Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee. Mamata will also make an aerial survey of the cyclone-hit areas to assess the damage today.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba today chaired a meeting of National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) to review the Relief and Restoration work in the aftermath of Cyclone ‘Bulbul’ over West Bengal and Odisha.

The NCMC assured all central assistance in terms of additional stocks of food items, drinking water, health services as well as restoration of telecom and power services. Central teams would be visiting the affected areas in both states within this week to take stock of the damages. Both the states indicated that they are carrying out detailed assessment after which they may seek specific central assistance, if required.

Hundreds of trees were uprooted by the winds gushing at a speed of more than 100kilometre/hour in the last 24 hours even as  more than 20 mm rainfall was recorded in the wake of the cyclone.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee visited the control room and spent several hours monitoring the situation along with Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha.

Around 200 people have been moved to a shelter in the Sagar Pilot station of the Kolkata Port trust.

-nad