Cyclone Amphan destroyed thousands of homes and killed at least 20 people as it made landfall near Kolkata (West Bengal state), on Wednesday, May 20, at approximately 17:00 (local time). On Thursday, May 21, authorities began surveying the damages that have left an estimated 15 million people without power and communications.
The state of West Bengal was the most affected area hit by Cyclone Amphan. State Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced that at least 12 people had been killed in the state as a result of the cyclone and that the death toll will likely increase as rescue and recovery efforts are ongoing. In neighboring Bangladesh, at least eight people have been reported dead as a result of Amphan, as a result of debris and flooding.
Amphan was the strongest tropical storm in the Bay of Bengal since 1999. Relief efforts are underway as authorities continue to assess the damages.
Fatalities thus far have been reported in the districts of Barguna, Bhola, Patuakhali, Pirojpur, and Satkhira. Low-lying areas in the cyclone's path have reported widespread flooding with the collapse of embankments, and damage to structures.
Damage to shelters, powerlines, and transport links are possible during the passing of the storm system. Associated flooding, landslides, and transportation and business disruptions are anticipated in coastal districts, as well as disruptions to power and communications services in the coming days.
Individuals in the affected areas are advised to monitor local weather reports, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities, anticipate adverse weather and power and transportation disruptions, and remember that running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) is enough to knock over an adult.
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