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Sunday, May 24, 2020

Amphan in Kolkata: Airport flooded, 5,000 trees uprooted; no power, phone, Internet connections

According to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, 15 people have died in Kolkata due to the cyclone.

By: Express News Service | Digha | Updated: May 22, 2020 1:03:32 am
cyclone amphan, west bengal cyclone, odisha cyclone, cyclone amphan deaths, cyclone amphan kolkata Cyclone Amphan: Kolkata airport was severely hit by the storm on Wednesday. (ANI)

A day after cyclone Amphan wreaked havoc over the city, Kolkata woke up to scenes of destruction on Thursday as over 5,000 trees, hundreds of lamposts and several traffic signals were uprooted. Due to heavy rainfall brought by the cyclone, several areas were inundated, with electricity cut off. According to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, 15 people have died in the city due to the cyclone.

At Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International airport, a small private aircraft which was parked in a hangar has been damaged while two hangars were destroyed. A portion of the airport was also flooded in rainwater. Later, operations resumed at the airport.

“A small corner of the airport is waterlogged, where water level is receding very slowly as the outside area is flooded. Two unused dilapidated hangars have collapsed. The airport has become operational from noon. We will also be operating some cargo/evacuation/emergency flights in the evening. People engaged in maintenance work at the airport are working round the clock to repair damages to the compound wall, terminal roof, etc.,” a senior airport official told The Indian Express.

According to Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), over 5,000 trees fell across the city and hundreds of lamposts were uprooted. Trees blocked toads in areas such as Maidan, Lake Gardens, Gariahat, Golf Green, Salt Lake, Southern Avenue, etc.

“Over 5,000 trees were uprooted and several houses have collapsed. The city has never witnessed a bigger disaster than this,” said Firhad Hakim, chairman of board of administrators at KMC.

Inside SSKM Hospital premises, trees were uprooted and a boundary wall collapsed. Till late in the evening, uprooted trees had not been cleared by civic officials, while several areas such as College Street, Behala, New Alipore and Sukia Street were submerged in water.

As electric poles collapsed, CESC Ltd disconnected power supply in majority of the areas, plunging the city into darkness. Telephone lines were snapped, broadband services hit and even mobile network was down in most parts of the city.

Meanwhile, operations have started at both Docks of Kolkata Port today. “Operations started at Kolkata Dock System at 10 am, one ship departure took place at 12.30. Cargo handling operations also on, but due to tree falling at various places across city, not many trucks coming in. Operations at Haldia Dock started and 2 vessel sailing planned in the evening tide at 6.50 onwards. Communication with Haldia is disrupted and only infrequent communication via sms is happening,” read a statement from the Kolkata Port Trust.

“At Kolkata 80-100 trees have fallen in dock area but main roads have been cleared. Few cars are damaged due to tree fall. Budge Budge one jetty and kukrahati one jetty used by pilots is damaged, alternatives being used. Tree fall and power disruption in port colony, restoration work is on,” it added.

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