Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced an advance interim assistance of Rs 1,000 crore for West Bengal and Rs 500 crore for Odisha in the wake of cyclone Amphan. PM Modi made the announcements after aerial surveys of areas hit by the cyclone and holding review meetings with the chief ministers of Odisha and West Bengal.
The Prime Minister also announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh to the families of those killed during the devastation caused by the cyclone and Rs 50,000 for the injured.
Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had earlier asked the Prime Minister to visit the state and inspect the damage, which she claimed was in the tune of Rs 1 lakh crore.
Cyclone Amphan -- the fiercest in 283 years -- had pounded the North and South 24 Parganas and state capital Kolkata for more than four hours on Wednesday during landfall, uprooting trees, knocking down electricity poles, damaging buildings and killing 80 people.
The cyclone also caused widespread devastation in neighbouring Odisha, damaging power and telecom infrastructure in several coastal districts. Officials of the Odisha government estimated that it has affected around 44.8 lakh people in the state.
Here are the updates on Cyclone Amphan:
People in various parts of Kolkata staged protests on Friday demanding immediate resumption of power and water supply, two days after cyclone Amphan ravaged West Bengal, snapping cables, uprooting trees
and leaving behind a trail of destruction.
Kolkata Mayor Firhad Hakim gave assurances that normalcy would be restored in a week, as government officials were working round the clock to improve the situation.
In south Kolkata's Behala area, agitators took to the streets and shouted slogans against the government, claiming that residents had been reeling under power and water crisis for over 48 hours, with no respite in sight.
"We have been living without mobile connectivity, electricity and proper drinking water for the last 48 hours. Is this a joke? We can do without mobile connectivity, but what about electricity and clean drinking water? We are asking for basic facilities," said Amit Dutta, a resident of Behala.
Went to West Bengal and Odisha to review the situation caused by the super cyclone. Conducted an aerial survey and held review meetings with the respective Chief Ministers @MamataOfficial and @Naveen_Odisha, as well as authorities. pic.twitter.com/ea6OkuoKw4- Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 22, 2020
The nation stands in solidarity with our sisters and brothers in West Bengal and Odisha. The Central Government assures all possible support as well as assistance towards the rehabilitation, restoration and reconstruction efforts.- Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 22, 2020
President Ram Nath Kovind spoke to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik on Friday to enquire about the situation there following the loss of life and huge damage to property caused by cyclone Amphan.
He assured them that the nation stands united in supporting the affected people in every possible way in this hour of crises.
"In the aftermath of cyclone Amphan, I spoke with the Governor of West Bengal, Jagdeep Dhankhar, and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, today to enquire about the situation following the large-scale loss of life and property caused by cyclone Amphan," Mr Kovind tweeted.
"I conveyed to them that in this hour of crisis the nation stands united in supporting the affected people in every possible way. I am confident that the official machinery is striving hard to ensure efficient rescue and relief operations," he said.
The president hoped that life in the affected areas of these states returns to the normal soon.
"I spoke with the Governor of Odisha, Prof Ganeshi Lal, and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, today and expressed my concern about people''s well-being in the wake of devastation caused by cyclone Amphan," he said in another tweet.
Expressing solidarity with the people of Odisha and deep sorrow for the lives lost, Prime Minister announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to the seriously injured in the cyclone in the State: Government of India #CycloneAmphanhttps://t.co/AlYK8SSasQ- ANI (@ANI) May 22, 2020
Twenty-two opposition parties urged the Centre to immediately declare the devastation caused by Cyclone Amphan in Odisha and West Bengal as a national calamity and called for substantially helping the states in facing the impact of the disaster.
The leaders of the 22 parties, who met through video-conferencing, passed a resolution in this regard and said relief and rehabilitation should be the topmost priority at this juncture.
"We, the opposition parties extend our sympathy and support to the governments and people of West Bengal and Odisha in meeting the impact of the devastation caused by Cyclone Amphan," the resolution said.
It said a natural calamity like Cyclone Amphan has come as a double blow amid the coronavirus pandemic, breaking the spirits of people.
Govt of India announces Rs 500 Crore for Odisha, as a measure in advance. Govt will further help Odisha govt and make rest of the arrangements to come out of this crisis, after the complete survey and the formation of a rehabilitation plan: PM Narendra Modi #CycloneAmphanpic.twitter.com/Zl6geN65qo- ANI (@ANI) May 22, 2020
Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has written to Mamata Banerjee and Naveen Patnaik, chief ministers of West Bengal and Odisha respectively, expressing his sympathy for the loss of lives and property in the two states ravaged by cyclone Amphan.
In his letters to the two chief ministers, the Buddhist leader said he is making a donation from the Dalai Lama Trust for the relief and rebuilding efforts "as a mark of solidarity with the people of West Bengal and Odisha."
However, the amount of donation was not mentioned in the statement issued by his office on Thursday.
"This morning His Holiness the Dalai Lama wrote to Mamata Banerjee and Naveen Patnaik, the Chief Ministers of West Bengal and Odisha respectively to express his sadness over the loss of life, the devastation of property, as well as the hardship caused to so many people due to Cyclone Amphan," said the statement on Thursday.
Cyclone Amphan has claimed 77 lives in West Bengal and Banerjee said the state suffered losses to the tune of Rs 1 lakh crore because of it.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed her gratitude to President Ram Nath Kovind for personally calling her to convey support amid the crisis in the state due to cyclone Amphan.
Taking to Twitter, Ms Banerjee wrote, "I sincerely thank the President Ram Nath Kovind Ji, for personally calling me to convey his support and concerns for the people of Bengal in this unprecedented time of crisis because of Amphan Cyclone. We are extremely grateful."
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi conducted an aerial survey of areas affected by cyclone Amphan in West Bengal.
The Prime Minister was accompanied by Mamata Banerjee. The senior leaders were seen wearing masks and covering their faces as a precautionary measure against COVID-19.
#WATCH Dealing with #COVID19 requires social distancing whereas battling the #AmphanCyclone requires people to move to safer areas. Despite these contradictions, West Bengal under leadership of Mamata ji is fighting well. We are with them in these adverse times: PM pic.twitter.com/pBxjWTlZTq- ANI (@ANI) May 22, 2020
"Rs 2 lakh would be given to the next of kin of the persons dead and Rs 50,000 each to the persons who got seriously injured due to the cyclone in parts of West Bengal," said PM Modi
"A team will be sent by the Central government to conduct a detailed survey about the damage caused due to Cyclone Amphan and the current situation of the affected areas. All aspects relating to rehabilitation & reconstruction will be addressed. We all want West Bengal to move ahead," said PM Modi.
"In the month of May, the country was busy with elections and at that time we had to combat a cyclone that battered Odisha. Now, after a year, this cyclone has affected our coastal areas. People of West Bengal have been worst affected by it," said PM Modi on cyclone Amphan
"Centre allocates Rs 1000 crore for immediate assistance of Bengal in the wake of cyclone Amphan," said PM Modi.
"I assure my brothers and sisters of West Bengal that the entire country stands with you in these difficult times," said PM Modi.
Terming the devastation caused by cyclone Amphan in West Bengal and Odisha as massive, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MP Manoj Jha said Centre should provide financial aid to the affected states and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to announce cyclone Amphan as a national catastrophe and to take up all the disaster management steps to procure the existing lives.
"If the states are announcing a financial relief package for the cyclone impacted livelihood, Centre should contribute a major portion to it," RJD leader said.
He also requested PM Narendra Modi to announce cyclone Amphan as a national catastrophe and to take up all the disaster management steps to procure the existing lives, reported news agency ANI.
"I would request PM Modi and his team to announce cyclone Amphan as a national disaster, following which, required measures can be taken to provide comfort to the existing lives in the affected states," he added.
"Although we can't bring back lives from the dead but can support the existing ones," he said.
Referring to the tweets by Prime Minister, he said, "Though his tweets were expected a little earlier, now after reading them, I expect it to be done as it has been said."
Dear @MamataOfficial didi, on behalf of the people of Delhi, I extend our full support and solidarity with you and the people of West Bengal in the wake of the destruction caused by #CycloneAmphan. Kindly let us know if we could help in any manner in this hour of crisis.- Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) May 22, 2020
Dear @Naveen_Odisha ji, on behalf of the people of Delhi, I extend our full solidarity and support with you and the people of Odisha in the wake of the destruction caused by #CycloneAmphan. Kindly let us know if we could help in any manner in this hour of crisis.- Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) May 22, 2020
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik spoke to West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee on Friday and assured all possible support to overcome the crisis triggered by cyclone Amphan that has claimed at least 77 lives and left a trail of destruction in her state.
During a telephonic conversation, Mr Patnaik enquired about the intensity of the damage caused due to the extremely severe cyclonic storm and conveyed Odisha's absolute solidarity with the people of West Bengal at this hour of crisis, a statement released by the Odisha Chief Minister's Office said
Mr Patnaik also assured all possible support to West Bengal in terms of men and materials to overcome this critical situation, it said.
The chief minister's telephonic discussion with Banerjee came a day after he assured to provide all possible assistance to West Bengal, which has been ravaged by cyclone Amphan that made landfall in the Sunderbans on Wednesday.
As the extremely severe cyclonic storm rolled past the Odisha coast and hit West Bengal, Patnaik expressed deep grief at the loss of lives and massive damage to property caused by the calamity in the neighbouring state.
Patnaik had on Thursday directed the chief secretary to remain in touch with his West Bengal counterpart and ensure all possible assistance to the neighbouring state.
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. pic.twitter.com/efrNAog2Sd- ANI (@ANI) May 22, 2020