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Dhaka Tribune

Cyclone Remal causes havoc in West Bengal, six dead

  • Thousands of trees and electricity poles uprooted with flights and trains disrupted in Kolkata
  • NDRF deployed 14 teams for rescue and restoration efforts in affected areas
Update : 27 May 2024, 08:53 PM

Cyclone Remal, left a trail of destruction in India’s West Bengal state on Monday, resulting in the deaths of six people and significant infrastructural damage.

Authorities reported that four individuals died due to electrocution, while another person was crushed by falling concrete in Kolkata, the state capital. A woman died when a mud home collapsed on the island of Mousuni in the Sundarbans delta.

As the cyclone weakened into a heavy storm, it continued to wreak havoc, uprooting thousands of trees and electricity poles, and damaging numerous homes.

West Bengal saw substantial damage with at least 1,200 power poles uprooted and 300 mud huts destroyed. Storm surges and rising sea levels breached embankments, leading to flooding in island villages.

Senior state government minister Bankim Chandra Hazra told AFP that the cyclone had blown off roofs and uprooted mangrove trees. Television images showed flooded streets in Kolkata, with numerous walls collapses and at least 52 fallen trees reported.

Operations at Kolkata airport were suspended from 12pm, local time, on Sunday, affecting 394 flights.

Additionally, over 40 trains were canceled and five rescheduled in the Sealdah division of the Eastern Railway.

As reported by Times of India, In the aftermath, fourteen teams from India’s National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed for restoration and rescue operations.

They have cleared around 54 uprooted trees, two electric poles, and 18km of roads in the affected areas, including Hasnabad, Sandeshkhali, Gosana, Sagar, Shyampur, and Haringhata.

The NDRF continues to assist local agencies in restoring normalcy, using electric saws to cut fallen trees and repairing electricity and communication poles, as seen on video footages

As Cyclone Remal moves northeast, it is expected to further weaken into a deep depression, triggering more rain in the region. Despite the significant damage, improved forecasting and evacuation planning have substantially reduced the death toll from such storms.

These storms are attributed to increasing impacts of climate change on weather patterns.

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