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Mamata to undertake aerial survey of cyclone-affected areas today

Mamata to undertake aerial survey of cyclone-affected areas today

Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will take an aerial survey of the affected areas around Namkhana and Bakkhali on Monday after spending the whole night at the Nabanna control room on Saturday, monitoring every movement of Cyclone 'Bulbul' as it lashed through the state.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home minister Amit Shah spoke to the Chief Minister on Sunday morning regarding the present situation in Bengal and assured all possible assistance to the state.

According to sources in the state Disaster Management departments, seven persons died due to the cyclone's impact while 2.73 lakh have been affected. At least 1.78 people have been rehabilitated to various relief camps and cyclone centres. Around 2,473 houses have been destroyed while 26,000 have been partly damaged. Agricultural lands also bore the brunt of 'Bulbul'.

It is learnt that the state government has already sent a preliminary report of the damage caused by the cyclone to the Centre. The coastal areas of North and South 24-Parganas and East Midnapore have been the worst affected due to the cyclonic impact.

Banerjee will hold a meeting at Kakdwip on Monday with the administration to review relief and rehabilitation measures of the cyclone-affected people and is also planning to visit the cyclone-affected areas of Basirhat of North 24-Parganas on November 13. She has cancelled her North Bengal trip that was scheduled to start from Monday.

"Due to the severe cyclonic storm 'Bulbul', I have decided to postpone my North Bengal visit in the coming week. Instead, tomorrow (Monday) I would take an aerial survey of the affected areas around Namkhana and Bakkhali. Later, I would take a meeting at Kakdwip with the administration to review the relief and rehabilitation measures of the cyclone-affected people. I am also planning to visit the cyclone-affected areas of Basirhat of North 24-Parganas on November 13, 2019," Banerjee tweeted on Sunday morning.

Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar lauded the efforts of the Chief Minister who stayed awake throughout the night to monitor the situation and communicated constantly with the district administration.

"Adverse impact has been contained-thanks to Hon'ble CM leading from the front and there being synergy between State and Central agencies. Appeal to NGOs to particularly come forward and render rehabilitation assistance to the needy," Dhankhar tweeted.

It may be mentioned that 10 teams — six from NDRF (National Disaster Response Force and four from SDRF (State Disaster Response Force) have been constantly engaged in rescue and relief operations. The district administration in North and South-24 Parganas used four drones of the Kolkata Police to take stock of the damage.

The cyclone had made landfall around 8.30 pm on Saturday 60 kilometres east of Sagar Island and 100 kilometres south of Kolkata. The wind speed was around 120 km per hour and went up to 135 km per hour.

"Areas including Bakkhali, Frasergunj, Kakdwip, Sagar Island, Namkhana, Patharpratima, Hingalgunj, Sandeshkhali, Basirhat in North 24-Parganas, Khejuri, Nandigram and parts of Digha have been badly affected," an official at Nabanna said.

Schools in the affected districts will remain closed on Monday.

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