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Bulbul passes state; impact contained by govt

Bulbul passes state; impact contained by govt

Kolkata: The Bengal government has managed to reduce the impact of severe cyclone 'Bulbul' in the coastal districts through its relentless precautionary measures and successful evacuation of villagers from the affected areas.

'Bulbul', that passed through the coastal districts of the state before finally moving towards Bangladesh, claimed seven lives in different parts of the state so far. The cyclone wrecked havoc on the lives of various crop cultivators in mostly parts of South 24-Parganas, North 24-Parganas and East Midnapore districts. These are the districts which reported maximum damage so far. However, the state government is yet to determine the extent of the damage in the districts.

The severe cyclonic storm coupled with heavy rain with gale winds uprooted hundreds of trees and snapped cables in the city and the coastal areas of North 24-Parganas, South 24-Parganas and East Midnapore till early Sunday morning, disrupting normal life massively.

According to state government sources, four people were killed in separate incidents in North 24-Parganas.

According to police, septuagenarian Suchitra Mandal died at Purba Makala village in Basirhat when a tree fell on her. Many trees were uprooted at Gokhna village in the district claiming the life of Reba Biswas (47). Another victim has been identified as Manirul Gazi (59) who was electrocuted to death after coming in contact with an electric post. Another person whose identity is yet to be confirmed died during the cyclone.

A man died after being crushed by a falling tree in East Midnapore while another death was reported from South 24-Parganas. The total death toll is presently seven. A boat which was anchored near the banks of Ichhamati River was badly damaged and found in a sub-merged condition. Many fishermen have gone missing in Frazerganj after their boats capsized after being hit by the cyclone.

The city and various South Bengal districts received torrential rain throughout the night which stopped on Sunday morning. Several places in the three districts felt the gale winds with gusts up to 130 in kmph.

Various state government agencies acted promptly in the districts for the last couple of days evacuating hundreds of people from the coastal areas. Around 2.73 lakh people have been affected in the incident. As many as 1.78 lakh were given shelter in nine camps set up at strategic locations. Altogether, around 471 camps have been opened in the affected areas. The disaster management personnel had already delivered 46,000 tarpaulins to these camps.

According to the state government figure, around 26,000 huts and houses collapsed during the cyclone while 2,473 houses were partially damaged. Six NDRF teams and four STRF teams have been working in the affected areas. In addition to that, around 15,000 civic volunteers were also deployed.

The Regional Meteorological Centre at Alipore predicted light to moderate rainfall in some parts of South Bengal districts till Monday morning. The temperature will slightly go down following the impact of the cyclone, a weather official said.

The district administration of both North 24-Parganas and South 24-Parganas used drones to assess the situation in the affected areas where disaster management teams were still unable to reach due to falling of trees and electric poles.

Jawed Shamim, Additional Commissioner (I) of the Kolkata Police said four drones have been pressed into service in the affected areas.

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