Cyclone Remal claims 6 lives in West Bengal, 10 in Bangladesh; leaves trail of destruction : The Tribune India

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Cyclone Remal claims 6 lives in West Bengal, 10 in Bangladesh; leaves trail of destruction

Coastal regions bore the brunt of cyclone Remal’s fury, with significant infrastructural damage reported in both West Bengal and neighbouring Bangladesh, where winds reached speeds of up to 135 kph

Cyclone Remal claims 6 lives in West Bengal, 10 in Bangladesh; leaves trail of destruction

People walk along shrimp and crab farms that are flooded due to heavy rain as cyclone Remal passes the country in the Shyamnagar area of Satkhira in Bangladesh on Monday. Photo: Reuters



PTI

Dhaka, May 27

At least 10 persons were killed and millions were left without power as severe cyclone Remal lashed the coasts of Bangladesh with devastating winds of up to 120 kph and storm surges, inundating hundreds of villages.

Remal weakened into a cyclonic storm on Monday morning, sustaining wind speeds of 80-90 kph, following landfall around midnight of Sunday, the Met department said.

The department said that the weather system, which lay 150 km northeast of Sagar Island at 5.30 am, brought torrential rain and moved towards northeast to weaken further into a cyclonic storm.

Remal is the first cyclone in the Bay of Bengal ahead of this year’s monsoon season, which runs from June to September. The cyclone was named Remal (meaning sand in Arabic) by Oman, according to a system of naming cyclones in the Indian Ocean region.

It lashed Bangladesh’s coastlines, levelling thousands of homesteads, smashing seawalls, and flooding scores of villages and towns along the south-western shorelines.

Bangladesh’s junior minister for disaster management and relief, Mohibur Rahman, said that 10 persons were killed in the official count so far, while the storm entirely damaged over 35 households and affected over 3.75 million people.

However, according to most media tally, the toll had reached 16, as details of the damage continued to be reported from coastlines.

The cyclone has been accompanied by gusty winds and heavy rains, impacting areas including Barisal, Bhola, Patuakhali, Satkhira, and Chattogram.

Officials and journalists in coastal areas said that of those deceased, some drowned while others were crushed when their houses collapsed.

One person was washed away in the town by a storm surge while returning home to bring his sister and aunt to a shelter.

Another person died in Satkhira after falling as he ran for cover during the storm.

In Mongla, a trawler sank, leaving two people, including a child, missing.

The Met office said that after ravaging the south-western coastlines, the “severe cyclone” weakened into a storm but continued to cause heavy downpours in most parts of Bangladesh, including Dhaka, which also suffered from electricity disruptions.

Power Ministry officials said that nearly 3 million people in Bangladesh were without electricity. Residents claimed their mobile phone services were inoperative as the devices could not be recharged.

Coastal areas experienced waves as high as 5 to 6 ft, exacerbating the destruction, according to the Met office.

Meanwhile, nearly 29,500 houses in 24 blocks and 79 municipal wards, mostly in the south coastal areas of West Bengal, were partially or entirely damaged by the cyclone, a state government official said on Monday.

Six persons — one in Kolkata, two women in South 24 Parganas district, one in Panihati in North 24 Parganas district and a father-son duo in Memari in Purba Medinipur — lost their lives due to the cyclone.

Over 2,140 trees were uprooted, and about 1,700 electric poles fell in various parts of the state, he added.

Initial assessments indicate that out of the damaged houses, 27,000 suffered partial damage, while 2,500 were completely destroyed. The official cautioned that these figures might change as evaluations are ongoing, with data collection and damage estimation still in progress.

The administration had shifted 2,07,060 people to 1,438 safe shelters, he said, adding currently there are 77,288 people.

“In all, 341 gruel kitchens being operated at the moment. We have distributed 17,738 tarpaulins to the affected people in the coastal and low-lying areas,” he added.

The affected areas included Kakdwip, Namkhana, Sagard Island, Diamond Harbour, Fraserganj, Bakkhali and Mandarmani.

Coastal regions bore the brunt of cyclone Remal’s fury, with significant infrastructural damage reported in both West Bengal and neighbouring Bangladesh, where winds reached speeds of up to 135 kph.

#Bangladesh #West Bengal


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