PM Modi arrives in Cyclone Amphan-hit West Bengal; conducts aerial survey of affected areas

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According to recent updates, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has arrived at West Bengal’s Basirhat after completing the joint aerial survey with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. A high-level meeting will be held at Basirhat College now. The ones who will attend the meeting include the Prime Minister, the Chief Minister, the Chief Secretary, and state ministers and secretaries of the concerned departments.

#WATCH: PM Narendra Modi conducts aerial survey of areas affected by #CycloneAmphan in West Bengal. CM Mamata Banerjee is also accompanying.

— ANI (@ANI) May 22, 2020

Prime Minister Modi arrived at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata’s Dum Dum at about 10:45 AM on Friday, as part of his tour 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.

Modi was received by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar at the airport. The governor will accompany the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister on the aerial survey in the state. Other Central ministers, who hail from Odisha and West Bengal, including Dharmendra Pradhan, Babul Supriyo, Pratap Chandra Sarangi, and Debasree Chaudhuri will also accompany the premiers in the aerial visit.

Political leaders of the state BJP unit, like Dilip Ghosh, Locket Chatterjee, and Mukul Roy were also at the airport to welcome Prime Minister Modi.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi received by West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee on arrival at Kolkata Airport. The PM will be conducting an aerial survey of the areas affected by #CycloneAmphan.

— ANI (@ANI) May 22, 2020

PM Narendra Modi received by West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on arrival at Kolkata Airport. The PM will be conducting an aerial survey of the areas affected by #CycloneAmphan.

— ANI (@ANI) May 22, 2020#CycloneAmphan.

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 80 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 gusting 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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