In Bangladesh, the cyclone caused about $130 million in damage to infrastructure, housing, fisheries, livestock, water resources and agriculture.

An Indian man carries drinking water past trees fallen after Cyclone Amphan hit the region in Kolkata, India, Thursday, May 21, 2020.
An Indian man carries drinking water past trees fallen after Cyclone Amphan hit the region in Kolkata, India, Thursday, May 21, 2020. (Reuters)

Indian authorities on Friday began assessing damage and clearing roads in the wake of Cyclone Amphan that killed more than 90 people and left millions displaced after barreling through the coastal communities of eastern India and neighbouring Bangladesh.

In West Bengal state, which bore the brunt of the storm that caused extensive flooding in its capital Kolkata, police and teams from India’s national disaster response force removed fallen trees and other debris, repaired communication lines and started getting hundreds of thousands of people out of shelters.

Cyclone Amphan killed at least 96 people in the two countries after it swept in from the Bay of Bengal on Wednesday, most in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal.

The toll is expected to rise as communications are restored and authorities reach villages cut off by blocked roads.

Amphan has been the most powerful storm to hit the region in more than a decade, dumping heavy rain amid a battering storm surge.

West Bengal

Police were using drones to assess the damage in Kolkata, a city of 14 million people, where an estimated 10,000 trees were brought down during the storm that lasted several hours and brought extensive flooding.

"The city is still in a state of shock," Kolkata's deputy mayor, Atin Ghosh, told Reuters.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised Thursday “no stone will be left unturned in helping the affected.”

India's prime minister announced emergency aid of $131.66 million to help West Bengal at a time when it and the rest of the country are dealing with the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Modi had left New Delhi to conduct an aerial survey of the worst-hit areas of West Bengal and Odisha states. 

It was Modi’s first trip outside the national capital after a coronavirus lockdown was imposed in late March.

"Dealing with the pandemic requires social distancing whereas battling the cyclone requires people to move to safer areas," Modi said at a school during a stop on a tour to inspect the damage.

"Despite this, West Bengal is fighting well. We are all with West Bengal in these adverse times."

Modi wore a mask as he stepped onto the tarmac at the airport in Kolkata earlier and was greeted by the state's chief minister, Mamata Banerjee, and other officials, all wearing masks.

A woman clears her house that was demolished by the cyclone Amphan in Satkhira, Bangladesh on May 21, 2020.
A woman clears her house that was demolished by the cyclone Amphan in Satkhira, Bangladesh on May 21, 2020. (Reuters)

Bangladesh estimates $130M in damages 

In an initial assessment, officials in Bangladesh said the cyclone caused about $130 million in damage to infrastructure, housing, fisheries, livestock, water resources and agriculture. 

The full extent of the damage was not immediately known.

A bus damaged by a fallen tree due to Cyclone Amphan is seen in Kolkata, West Bengal, India, May 21, 2020, in this still image from video.
A bus damaged by a fallen tree due to Cyclone Amphan is seen in Kolkata, West Bengal, India, May 21, 2020, in this still image from video. (Reuters)

"Some 1,100 km of road, 200 bridges and 150 km of dams in coastal districts have been damaged,” said Enamur Rahman, junior minister for disaster management and relief.

Crops have been damaged over an area of 176,000 hectares, Agriculture Minister Abdur Razzaque said, while the electricity authority was scrambling to restore power to some 10 million people.

“It has left a trail of destruction," said Rahman. 

Authorities in both countries managed to evacuate more than 3 million people before Amphan struck.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies