After a harrowing night battling the cyclone Ampha, people of Kolkata woke up to a distressing morning on Thursday. The destruction, unprecedented in recent public memory, was evident in every neighbourhood of the city. Residents of the metropolis woke up with almost all the roads blocked by fallen trees, broken electric poles. Some areas were submerged.
Also read: 72 killed in Cyclone Amphan fury
Trees have fallen almost every 50 metres, blocking key arteries of the city, bringing traffic to a standstill. Power supply was disrupted in several areas and mobile and Internet connectivity was patchy. Waterlogging was reported in low lying parts, including at the city airport. The Kolkata Municipal Corporation was trying to pump out water from the low lying areas.
The chairman for Board of Administrator of KMC and Urban Development Minister, Firhad Hakim, sought time from people to make the city functional again. From Dum Dum in north to Tollygunj and Jadavpur in south, every area had suffered damages due to fallen trees and broken lamp posts. The city’s business district was badly damaged with trees falling on boundary walls. The Central Red Road witnessed massive uprooting of trees.
Hospitals such as M.R. Bangur and SSKM, which were battling the COVID-19 pandemic, had to deal with the destruction caused by the cyclone.
The cyclone raged for hours on Wednesday evening and night. The storm started making a landfall at 2.30 p.m. on Wednesday and by 4 p.m. the impact was felt in Kolkata. For over six hours the storm raged with all its fury. About 6 p.m. the Alipore Weather Office recorded a wind speed of about 112 kmph and at 7.20 p.m. the wind speed in Dum Dum in Kolkata peaked to 133 kmph. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee shared some photographs with journalists showing roofs in her neighbourhood having flung from one building to another.
Watch | Cyclone Amphan wreaks havoc in West Bengal and Odisha
Fifteen persons have died in the city in various incidents of electrocution or being crushed under a tree or a collapsed house. Deaths were reported across almost all parts of the city.
For the next few days the civic authorities have a huge task cut out of clearing the roads from the thousands of trees and restoring power supply.