Cyclone Amphan: PM Modi travels to WB, Odisha to review situation, conduct aerial surveys; here’s schedule

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will travel to West Bengal and Odisha today to take stock of the situation in the wake of Cyclone Amphan and conduct aerial surveys of the affected areas, the Prime Minister’s Office had informed on Thursday. He will also take part in review meetings to decide on the measures that ought to be taken in the aftermath of the disaster.

A tentative schedule of the Prime Minister’s West and Odisha visit has been accessed. According to it, Modi will arrive at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata’s Dum Dum at about 10:45 AM, following which he will avail of a helicopter to travel to Basirhat for conducting an aerial survey of the areas worst-hit by the cyclone. At 11:20 AM, the Prime Minister will attend a meeting at Basirhat with state government and district officials, following which he will return to the airport for departure. At 1:30 PM, Prime Minister Modi will depart Kolkata for Odisha’s Bhubaneswar.

Notably, the Prime Minister’s last visit was to Prayagraj and Chitrakoot in Uttar Pradesh back on February 29. Modi is going on a tour after 83 days (almost three months).

Cyclone Amphan battered coastal districts of West Bengal, including Kolkata, on Wednesday and claimed at least 72 lives. 

Earlier on Thursday, Modi wished that situation normalises in West Bengal and Odisha at the earliest. 

In a series of tweets, he said, “My thoughts are with the people of Odisha as the state bravely battles the effects of Cyclone Amphan. Authorities are working on the ground to ensure all possible assistance to those affected. I pray that the situation normalises at the earliest.”

NDRF teams are working in the cyclone affected parts. Top officials are closely monitoring the situation and also working in close coordination with the West Bengal government, he said. 

No stone will be left unturned in helping the affected, he added.

“Have been seeing visuals from West Bengal on the devastation caused by Cyclone Amphan. In this challenging hour, the entire nation stands in solidarity with West Bengal. Praying for the well-being of the people of the state. Efforts are on to ensure normalcy,” the Prime Minister said. 

The extremely severe cyclone Amphan made landfall at 2.30 pm on Wednesday between Digha in West Bengal and Hatiya island in Bangladesh, packing heavy rain and winds with speeds of up to 190 kmph, triggering heavy rainfall and gustings in various parts of the state.

Amphan is the fiercest cyclone to hit the state in the last 100 years, reports said. 

Kolkata and several parts of West Bengal wore a battered look on Thursday after ‘Amphan’ ripped through the state. The heavy wind and rain blew up shanties, uprooted thousands of trees, electricity poles and telecom towers and flooded low-lying areas. 

Large parts of Kolkata and other affected districts were without electricity as power lines have been snapped and poles have been blown up. Mobile and internet services were also down as the cyclone has damaged communication towers in many parts. 

East Midnapore, Howrah, North and South 24 Paraganas and Kolkata have been worst hit by the cyclone. After making landfall at Digha, the cyclone barrelled through North and South 24 Paraganas of Bengal, unleashing heavy rain and windstorm along the way. 

Kolkata witnessed strong winds with speed up to 125 kmph per hour with heavy rains which upturned cars, felled trees and electricity poles, blocking important roads and intersections.

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