Cyclone Amphan, one of the worst storms over the Bay of Bengal in years, made landfall in eastern India and Bangladesh on 20 May, killing at least 15 people and leaving a trail of destruction in West Bengal, Odisha and Bangladesh.
At least 6.58 lakh people were evacuated in West Bengal and Odisha before the cyclone struck. The three districts of South and North 24 Parganas and East Midnapore were the worst affected in West Bengal. The cyclone destroyed thousands of houses, uprooted trees and electric poles and inundated thousands of acres of standing crop. There is no electricity and drinking water in several areas, bridges have been cut off and communications have been disrupted.
The Chief Minister of the Indian state of West Bengal chief minister has said the devastation was “a bigger disaster than Covid-19”.
Video footage from the Sunderban Islands show heavy rains and wind from Cyclone Amhpan. Communications have been disrupted and bridges have been cut off in several places in West Bengal.
Aftermath of Cyclone Amphan: Flooded Streets in Kolkata
People from a village have come to take shelter at a parish in South 24 Parganas District as their houses are vulnerable and can’t withstand the forces of high winds as they are made up of mud and hay.
Districts in Odisha state have also been hit hard.
Photos from Island Maipith and Katamari in Sunderban region. People living near riverbeds have been moved to a school building for safety where food is being provided to them by the government.
The Botkhali river embankment which is 8 kilometers from Gangasagar, Chemaguri Bazar has been collapsed. There are 3,000 people living in this area. Most of them are fishermen and laborers. They are now taking refuge in government schools.
The situation in Raidigi District of West Bengal.
It has been raining continually. The Diocese of Kolkata team and HG Justin Mor Thomas Episcopa are continuously getting in touch with the boat team, ready to assist those in the most vulnerable and high-risk zones in Sunderban Islands, especially Digha, in coordination with local authorities.
The cyclone is expected to hit West Bengal (Digha) by this afternoon. The intensity of rain and winds is increasing. The Government has evacuated people from coastal areas that are close to the Bay of Bengal and have moved them to relief shelters.
The following photos are from the Sunderban Islands.
People are seen bringing water and other essentials to stock at home ahead of the cyclone Amphan.
Moran Mor Athanasius Yohan I Metropolitan called on the faithful around the world to pray for the protection of people in India and Bangladesh. He said, “We desperately need to pray for God’s protection. In John 10:10, Jesus said its Satan’s purpose to destroy everything. But our God is the One who is able to tell even the winds and the waves to be still. Please stand with me in prayer for protection over our brothers and sisters and the many who live in these areas. I know you will”.