Cyclone Amphan 'more than a national disaster', never seen such devastation: Mamata

PTI NEW DELHI May 22, 2020, 03.15 PM(IST)

File photo: West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee. Photograph:( ANI )

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Banerjee said it will take time to restore normalcy, with cyclone 'Amphan' having ravaged at least seven to eight districts in Bengal, and adversely impacting 60 per cent of the state's population.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday contended that the calamity, which has left at least 80 dead, is "more than a national disaster".

Banerjee said it will take time to restore normalcy, with cyclone 'Amphan' having ravaged at least seven to eight districts in Bengal, and adversely impacting 60 per cent of the state's population.

"This is more than a national disaster. I have not seen such devastation in my life. Sixty per cent of people have been affected in West Bengal. More than six crore have been directly affected," Banerjee told reporters at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport where she had gone to receive Modi.

"It will take some time to restore normalcy. It's a catastrophe. Severe disaster. Our officials and ministers are all working. Police are also working tirelessly. We are fighting three challenges -- there is lockdown, then there is COVID-19, and now this disaster. The villages have been entirely devastated," she noted.

The chief minister said that she will hold an administrative meeting with Modi at Basirhat in North 24 Parganas district, following the aerial survey.

She also said that an initial report on the scale of destruction caused by the cyclone has been prepared and it would be handed over to the prime minister.

"We are not saying anything on it (the devastation caused by the cyclone). The chief secretary has prepared a report which will be handed over to the PM. I hope he will consider looking into it," the CM said.

Banerjee said a map of areas, which she would be surveying along with the PM, has been prepared by her government officials.

"We will cover Rajarhat, Bhangar, Minakha, Hashnabar, Sandeshkhali 1 and 2, Gosaba, Hindolganj, Kultuli. Kakdwip, Patharpratima, Mathurapur 2, Diamond Harbour and Falta. This will take an hour or so," she explained.

The CM also said she will be visiting some of these places again on Saturday.