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72 killed by Cyclone Amphan, Rs 2 lakh ex gratia to kin of deceased: WB CM

Press Trust of India  |  Kolkata 

Seventy-two people have died so far in West Bengal due to Cyclone Amphan, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Thursday and urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit the affected districts and provide help to rebuild those areas from scratch.

The chief minister also announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh for the family members of each of the deceased.

So far as per the reports we have received, 72 people have died in the state due to Cyclone Amphan. Two districts North and South 24 Parganas are completely devastated. We have to rebuild those districts from scratch. I would urge the central government to extend all help to the state, Banerjee said after conducting a review meeting with officials.

She also announced a corpus fund of Rs 1,000 crore for preliminary restoration work of the affected areas.

I will visit the affected areas very soon. The restoration work will start very soon. A large part of North and South 24 Parganas and Kolkata are facing massive power cut since last evening. Even telephone and mobile connections are down, she said.

I have never witnessed such a fierce cyclone and destruction in my life. I would request Prime Minister Narendra Modi to come and visit Cyclone Amphan-affected areas, Banerjee said.

The cyclone has left a trail of devastation beyond our imagination. While the material damage is substantial, Bengal stands united in this time of crisis. Together we will overcome this because nothing can dampen the spirit and strength of the people of Bengal, she said while urging the opposition parties to join hands in rebuilding the state.

The total number of fatalities reported includes 15 from Kolkata, 17 from North 24 Parganas, four from the South 24 Parganas-Sunderban region and 10 from Basirhat, officials said.

The districts of East Midnapore, Howrah and North and South 24 Parganas, along with the state capital, are the worst-hit, they added.

The chief minister said 99 per cent of the South 24 Parganas district had been wiped out, adding several structures of the newly constructed buildings have also been damaged.

Urging the officials to begin the restoration work quickly, Banerjee said the money spent on the restoration work should be paid wisely and carefully.

Already we had spent a lot of money on fighting COVID. For the last two months, the income of the state is nil, but there has been a lot of spending. Now the cyclone will only worsen the financial woes of the state, the TMC chief said.

The restoration work should be done carefully and wisely so that we don't have to spend money on that same road for the next three years. We are short of funds, and we have to very careful regarding the spending of money, she said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, May 21 2020. 18:34 IST