Severe Cyclone Bulbul has left behind a trail of destruction in West Bengal, taking seven lives in three districts, affecting 2.97 lakh people and damaging over 28,000 houses, senior ministers said on Sunday.
The storm also uprooted hundreds of trees and affected power supply in the state.
Five deaths were reported from Basirhat sub-division in North 24 Parganas district, while South 24 Parganas and East Midnapore districts recorded one death each in the storm which crossed the Bengal coast close to Sundarban Dhanchi forest between 8.30 p.m. and 11.30 p.m. on Saturday.
Disaster Management Minister Javed Khan said here 2.97 lakh people were affected, while 1.78 lakh persons were sheltered in 471 relief camps.
“The storm fully damaged 2,473 houses. 206 houses suffered severe damages, while the number of partially damaged houses is 26,000,” Khan told media persons.
State Food and Supplies Minister Jyotipriyo Mullick said that in the worst-hit Basirhat sub-division alone, 3,100 houses suffered damage.
Mullick, who toured the Bulbul-hit areas in Basirhat on Sunday, said the condition of Sandeshkhali was “very bad”.
“There has been massive damage to agricultural land. We have to meet the crisis on a war footing,” he said.
Six teams of National Disaster Response Force and four State Disaster Response Force teams alongside 15,000 volunteers were carrying out relief and rescue operations in the affected areas, Khan said.
So far, 46,000 tarpauline sheets have been distributed, and 373 group kitchens were operating.
“We are still awaiting information from some of the remote areas. Only then we will be able to collate the total damage,” said the minister.
According to the Regional Meteorological Centre here, Canning in South 24 Parganas recorded 20 cm rainfall in the 24-hour period till 8.30 a.m. on Sunday. Contai and Digha in East Mindapore district received 16 cm and 10 cm rains respectively during the same period.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to take stock of the Cyclone Bulbul situation.
In the telephonic conversation, Modi assured Banerjee of all possible assistance from the Central government.
Banerjee, who led from the front by stationing herself in the special control room set up at the secretariat Nabanna till the early hours on Sunday, announced she would make an aerial survey of the cyclone Bulbul hit areas around Namkhana and Bakkhali in South 24 Parganas district on Monday and review relief and rehabilitation measures in Kakdwip with the district administration.
She plans to visit Basirhat on Wednesday.