Dramatic videos of an electrical transformer sparking and exploding in Kolkata this evening have emerged on social media as Cyclone Amphan battered Bengal.
The video, captured from a building's balcony, shows bright sparks going off as the transformer explodes after heavy rain and gusty winds pounded the state capital and its nearby areas. The incident reportedly happened in south's Kolkata's Anwar Shah Road.
Several trees have been uprooted, walls have collapsed and three people died as monster winds of Cyclone Amphan hammered the state.
Buildings were damaged, glass windows were broken, even cars bumped into one another as winds with speeds over 100km/hr pummeled through Kolkata, leaving behind a trail of destruction. Power outages have been reported from several parts of the city.
Citizens have shared several videos and photos shot from their houses that show the impact of the cyclone. Many residents shared details of their experience on social media with photos and videos.
"It's actually quite scary now. Winds were howling for quite sometime, now doors are banging, several of the glass windows in my apartment complex have broken. You can actually see the wind whirling around and the rain going up," Kolkata resident Arnab Basu told NDTV.
Over five lakh people have been taken to shelters in West Bengal and over one lakh in Odisha, the National Disaster Response Force (NRDF) chief said today in a press briefing. The cyclone reached Kolkata this evening.
Evacuation is complicated by the need to follow precautions to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The cyclone is passing mainly over North and South 24 Parganas, Midnapore, Hooghly, and Kolkata.
As the fiercest cyclone in decades rattled Bengal and Odisha, Bangladesh reported its first death due to Amphan.
Cyclone Amphan is only the second "super cyclone" to form over the Bay of Bengal since records began, and the first since 1999. Odisha was hit by a super cyclone that left nearly 10,000 dead in 1999.