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.


UN General Assembly: World leaders take part in first ever 'virtual' debate

Updated 22 September 2020

UN General Assembly: World leaders take part in first ever 'virtual' debate

UNITED NATIONS: The UN’s first virtual meeting of world leaders is getting under way with pre-recorded speeches from some of the planet's biggest powers,

Among those expected to speak on Tuesday are Donald Trump, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Vladimir Putin, China's Xi Jinping and French president Emmanuel Macron.

From the Middle East, Iranian president Hassan Rouhani will take the virtual floor as his country comes under huge pressure from the US over the crumblimng nuclear deal.

Jordan's King Abdullah II and the Emir of Qatar will also deliver their addresses.

After Monday's introductory session marking the UN's 75th anniversary, the "general debate" is the meeting's central event — speeches from each of its 193 member nations.

They traditionally serve as a platform for countries to tout accomplishments, seek support, stoke rivalries and express views on global priorities.


*With AP