In Images: A cyclone’s fury

Amid lockdown and fear of the spread of the deadly coronavirus, citizens of Bengal and Orissa witnessed the super Cyclonic Storm Amphan, on Wednesday 20th May, that caused widespread damage in different parts of the states. The storm battered West Bengal and Bangladesh’s coastal areas and badly damaged parts of the Sundarbans, a UNESCO world heritage site, and there’s still very little to no news from there. After the 2009 tropical cyclone Aila, Amphan is the most serious cyclone to hit the Sundarbans. Aila had destroyed agriculture in sundarban for years, forcing thousands of small farmers to migrate in search of work. The mangrove forests, which are half submerged in the sea, house over two hundred tigers, among other flora and fauna. It is important to mention here that ‘Nadi Bandh’ or mud dykes that hold the rivers in the Sunderbans, must have been breached for miles and rebuilding those mud dykes is a lengthy process. Till now, there is news of 32 ‘bandhs’ getting decimated around South 24 Parganas and East Midnapore districts of Bengal. Most houses in those areas are completely destroyed and remain submerged in water. 

Migrant workers, hailing from Bengal, who had just managed reach home after many hurdles, were home quarantining. Reports of many of them, hailing from South 24 parganas and Midnapore, losing their homes and being put in relief camps have emerged. Paddy and green gram crops that were harvested and stocked by farmers are completely damaged. Some of their farmlands remain under salty sea water, as of now. 

Despite sporadic internet service, disturbing images are surfacing on the internet since thursday morning from eyewitnesses and survivors’ social media accounts, mainly from Kolkata, some parts of south 24 parganas, East Midnapore and the Sundarbans. 

Looking at the images, one wonders if the damages in a metro city are of this magnitude, what would be the state of villages, farmlands and people living in mud houses? Are people still trapped in remote locations without help and food? Was everyone evacuated to safety? If yes, how would social distancing be possible in the shelters? What is the way forward given the pandemic we are dealing with right now? Why hasn’t the centre declared this as a national disaster yet?


Photo Credits and News source:

Sabir Da



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