At least 15 killed as Cyclone Remal ravages India and Bangladesh

Last Updated on May 27, 2024 4:31 pm

By Abdullah Al Masum

At least 15 people were killed in India and Bangladesh as Cyclone Remal left a trail of destruction in coastal areas.

The cyclone, named after the Arabic word for sand, made landfall on Sunday at about 8.30pm between India’s Sagar Island, about 100km from Kolkata in the eastern state of West Bengal, and Khepupara in southern Bangladesh.

It was considered a severe cyclonic storm when it made landfall powered by winds of up to 135kph, the Indian Meteorological Department said. But weakened in the early hours of Monday to become a cyclonicstorm. It is moving north across West Bengal and Bangladesh.

The cyclone travelled across the Bay of Bengal late last week, prompting authorities in India and Bangladesh to tell hundreds of thousands of people to evacuate. Torrential rain flooded homes and farmlands in low-lying areas and fragile structures were flattened.

A home destroyed by Cyclone Remal in Bagladesh. Hundreds of thousands of people have evacuated. AFP
A home destroyed by Cyclone Remal in Bagladesh. Hundreds of thousands of people have evacuated. AFP

Trees and electricity poles were uprooted, causing major disruption in West Bengal.

Kolkata Mayor Firhad Hakim said 56 trees were uprooted in the city and were being cleared from the roads by the National Disaster Response Force. A man, 51, was killed when a brick wall collapsed and a woman died when a tree fell on her, Indian media reported.

Authorities in West Bengal sent volunteers and army staff to assist with clean-up efforts and distribute food and water to displaced families.

Flights resumed at Kolkata airport on Monday after 20 hours, but train services are still disrupted in the state. “Remal has made great damage in most parts of West Bengal,” said Kaushik Mitra, chief public relations officer at Eastern Railways.

“We have faced some problems in certain divisions and restoration work is in full swing. Trees have fallen on the tracks due to which we have cancelled train services for six to eight hours.”

Authorities in the states of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Manipur and Mizoram were also on alert, with precautionary measures in place to mitigate the effects of the cyclone.

In Bangladesh, two people were killed after the storm made landfall, Kamrul Hasan, secretary of the country’s disaster management authority, told AFP.

Five deaths were reported on Monday morning in coastal districts.

Authorities in Bangladesh raised the danger level to 10 – the highest level – at the ports of Mongla and Payra. About two million people live in storm-affected areas of the country, the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee said.

The disaster management authority ordered people to evacuate their homes. Authorities set up more than 7,000 shelters for 800,000 people from vulnerable districts and sent 78,000 volunteers to assist.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *