Recovery begins after cyclone Amphan ravages India, Bangladesh coast

Residents clear a tree that fell on electric lines after the landfall of cyclone Amphan, the most powerful storm in the region in more than a decade, in Kolkata on May 21, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 22 May 2020

Recovery begins after cyclone Amphan ravages India, Bangladesh coast

  • Amphan hit land Wednesday as the most powerful storm in the region in more than a decade

NEW DELHI: India authorities on Friday began assessing damage and clearing roads in the wake of Cyclone Amphan that killed more than 90 people and left millions displaced after barreling through the coastal communities of eastern India and neighboring Bangladesh.
In West Bengal state, which bore the brunt of the storm that caused extensive flooding in its capital Kolkata, police and teams from India’s national disaster response force removed fallen trees and other debris, repaired communication lines and started getting hundreds of thousands of people out of shelters.
Amphan hit land Wednesday as the most powerful storm in the region in more than a decade, dumping heavy rain amid a battering storm surge.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the cyclone must be treated as a national disaster. She also pitched for monetary assistance from the federal government after receiving Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Kolkata airport.
The two later conducted an aerial survey of the worst-hit areas of the state. It was Modi’s first trip outside the national capital after a coronavirus lockdown was imposed in late March.
Modi promised Thursday that “no stone will be left unturned in helping the affected.”
In an initial assessment, officials in Bangladesh said the cyclone caused about $130 million in damage to infrastructure, housing, fisheries, livestock, water resources and agriculture. The full extent of the damage along India’s eastern coast was not immediately known.
Authorities in both countries managed to evacuate more than 3 million people before Amphan struck.
At least 80 people were killed in West Bengal state, and two more deaths were reported in neighboring Odisha state. Bangladesh reported 13 deaths.


Spain’s former king leaving country amid financial scandal

Updated 03 August 2020

Spain’s former king leaving country amid financial scandal

  • The 82-year-old former king is credited with helping Spain peacefully restore democracy after the death of dictator Francisco Franco in 1975
  • Marred by scandals in the later years of his reign, Juan Carlos in 2014 abdicated in favor of his son Felipe VI

MADRID: Spain’s former monarch, King Juan Carlos I, says he is leaving Spain to live in another country amid a financial scandal.
The royal family’s website on Monday published a letter from Juan Carlos to his son, King Felipe VI, saying “I am informing you of my considered decision to move, during this period, out of Spain.”
Spain’s prime minister recently said he found the developments about Juan Carlos — including investigations in Spain and Switzerland — “disturbing.”
The 82-year-old former king is credited with helping Spain peacefully restore democracy after the death of dictator Francisco Franco in 1975.
But marred by scandals in the later years of his reign, Juan Carlos in 2014 abdicated in favor of his son Felipe VI, losing the inviolability protection Spain’s Constitution grants to the head of state.
The royal house has denied that Felipe had any knowledge of his father’s alleged financial irregularities.