Cyclone Amphan roared into Bengal today at around 2.30 pm, ripping away walls, toppling trees and causing power cuts. Wind speeds going up to 120 km/hr and heavy rain caused widespread destruction across the state. Kolkata was severely battered; each blow of the cyclone leaving behind a trail of wreckage.
Many put up videos on social media. Locked up in their houses, people shared terrifying clips to show the extent of damage that Cyclone Amphan brought to the West Bengal capital. At least 12 people have died in Bengal.
Parked cars bumped into each other at a south Kolkata highrise, an electrical transformer exploded and many trees were uprooted in dramatic videos that were shared on social media. Power outages were reported from several parts of the city.
Howling winds banged against doors and broke glass windows, a Kolkata resident shared his experience with NDTV.
Twitter was flooded with videos.
There was a short circuit on overhead electrical wires, as shared on Twitter.
Electric Fault ⚡ at Sinthi More, Kolkata. Courtesy of #Amphan cyclone. ????— Rohan Gupta (@RohanGupta_LP) May 20, 2020
P.S. This area is essentially the border of Kolkata and North 24 Parganas.#AmphanSuperCyclone#AmphanCycloneUpdatepic.twitter.com/vbL5iLwgze
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.
The cyclone is passing mainly over North and South 24 Parganas, Midnapore, Hooghly, and Kolkata.
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.