Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Bengal and Odisha today for an aerial survey of the ground situation after the havoc by cyclone Amphan. Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had asked the Prime Minister to visit the state and inspect the damage, which she said was in the tune of Rs 1 lakh crore.
"I have never witnessed such a fierce cyclone and destruction in my life. I would request Prime Minister Narendra Modi to come and visit Cyclone Amphan-affected areas," Ms Banerjee said after a review meeting this morning.
Later in the day, the Prime Minister, in a series of tweets, said the entire county stands with Bengal and "no stone will be left unturned" to help those affected.
"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 tweeted.
Later, a tweet from his office read:
Tomorrow, PM @narendramodi will travel to West Bengal and Odisha to take stock of the situation in the wake of Cyclone Amphan. He will conduct aerial surveys and take part in review meetings, where aspects of relief and rehabilitation will be discussed.— PMO India (@PMOIndia) May 21, 2020
The cyclone -- the fiercest in 283 years -- had pounded the North and South 24 Parganas and state capital Kolkata for more than four hours yesterday during landfall, uprooting trees, knocking down electricity poles, damaging buildings and killing 76 people.
Power and water were not available in many parts of Kolkata this morning. Cellphone and internet services were also badly disrupted as the cyclone had damaged several communication towers.
The districts of East Midnapore and Howrah had also taken a battering.
The cyclone also caused widespread devastation in 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.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah has spoken to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Ms Banerjee and given assurances of help.