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24 killed as Cyclone Bulbul lashes India, Bangladesh

At least 24 people were killed and more than 2 million others spent a night huddled in storm shelters as Cyclone Bulbul smashed into the coasts of India and Bangladesh with fierce gales and torrential rains, officials said Sunday.

The cyclone made landfall at 9 p.m. local time (1530GMT) on Saturday in Indian West Bengal, near Sagar Island. The cyclone packed winds of up to 120 kilometers (75 miles) per hour, forcing the closure of ports and airports in both countries.

Ten people were killed in India’s West Bengal state, the Press Trust of India reported, including two after uprooted trees fell on their homes and another after being struck by falling branches in Kolkata.

Two others died in nearby Odisha state, PTI reported.

Ayesha Akter, an emergency official in Bangladesh, confirmed 12 people had died in the storm, adding that she feared the death toll will rise until Monday morning.

According to Bangladesh’s Health Directorate report issued on Sunday night casualties have been reported from eight districts in the country’s southern coastline.

Five others are missing after a fishing trawler sank in squally weather on Meghna river near the southern island of Bhola, district administrator Masud Alam Siddiqui told AFP.

AFP Photo

AFP Photo

The cyclone also damaged some 4,000 mostly mud and tin-built houses, disaster management secretary Shah Kamal told AFP.

In coastal Khulna, the worst-hit district in Bangladesh, trees swayed violently and were ripped from the ground in the fierce storm, blocking roads and hampering access to the area.

Some low-lying parts of the district were flooded, Disaster Management Minister Enamur Rahman told AFP.

Authorities said the cyclone was weakening as it moved inland.

“It has turned into a deep depression, causing heavy rainfall,” Bangladesh weather bureau deputy chief Ayesha Khatun told AFP.

Bulbul hit the coast at the Sundarbans, the world’s largest mangrove forest which straddles Bangladesh and India, and is home to endangered species including Bengal tigers and Irrawaddy dolphins.

The mangroves shielded the coast from the storm’s full impact, Khatun said.

Some 2.1 million people across Bangladesh were relocated to cyclone shelters.

AFP Photo

AFP Photo

Troops were sent to coastal districts while tens of thousands of volunteers went door-to-door and used loudspeakers to urge people to evacuate their villages.

“We spent the night with another 400 people,” said Ambia Begum, who arrived at a shelter in the port town of Mongla late Saturday along with her family.

“I am worried about my cattle and the straw roof of my house. I could not bring them here. Allah knows what is happening there,” the 30-year-old mother of three told AFP.

Around 1,500 tourists were stranded on St. Martin’s island off southeastern Bangladesh after boat services were cancelled.

In India, nearly 120,000 people who were evacuated started to return home as the cyclone weakened, authorities said.

“The storm has left a trail of destruction as it’s crossed the coastline of West Bengal,” the state’s Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim said.

In Odisha, crops in coastal regions were extensively damaged by the cyclone, officials told AFP.

Bangladesh’s low-lying coast, home to 30 million people, and India’s east are regularly battered by cyclones.

Hundreds of thousands of people living around the Bay of Bengal have been killed in cyclones in recent decades.

While the frequency and intensity of the storms have increased, partly due to climate change, the death tolls have come down because of faster evacuations and the building of thousands of coastal shelters.

Cyclone Fani was the most powerful storm to hit the area in years when it struck in May, killing 12 people.

Indigenous no-state people

Cyclone Fani Online Donation for Relief and Rescue: CM Urges People to Restore Cyclone-Hit Odisha

After Cyclone Fani, one of the severe cyclonic storm to batter the Indian subcontinent in decades, caused a havoc in Odisha after it made a landfall in Puri on Friday. In the wake of the destruction and damage caused due to the storm, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday urged people of the nation to donate online to help rebuild the state once again. “Odisha has been devastated by Cyclone Fani. Please help rebuild precious lives with your online contribution to Chief Minister Relief Fund at, Patnaik tweeted.

The Chief Minister said the houses completely damaged will be constructed under housing schemes. Loss of agricultural and horticultural crops & animal resources, fisheries will be assessed and compensated accordingly. He added saying that tree plantations will be taken up in mission mode soon after relief and restoration. Cyclone Fani: Rs 1000 Crore Relief for Fani Damage, Says PM Narendra Modi.

The death toll in Odisha caused due to Cyclone Fani jumped to 16 on Saturday. The government mounted a massive restoration work across 10,000 villages and 52 urban areas which were severely hit by the storm. The storm later weakened and entered West Bengal on Saturday night, after which it moved to coastal areas of Bangladesh. A total of nine people were killed in Bangladesh after rains lashed several parts of the nation.

Here’s How You Can Donate:

  1. Individuals wanting to make an online contribution to cyclone-hit people of Odisha need to visit Chief Minister Relief Fund –
  2. The Account numberon which individuals are required to send the money is 006101057842. The IFSC Code is ICIC0000061.
  3. Users can also make contribution via UPI: The code is “ODISHACMRF.FANI@ICICI”
  4. Users can also donate using Paytm App to assist relief and rehabilitation efforts in Odisha. Users can go to Paytm App and click on Odisha Relief icon and contribute.

The cyclone, with wind speed of up to 200 km per hour pounded the states coastal region, massively damaging property and disrupting flight operations, communication, rail and road connectivity. On Saturday, Patnaik informed that a record 1.2 million people were evacuated in 24 hours claiming to have carried out the “biggest human evacuation in history”.

He further added saying that Cyclone Fani was one of the rarest summer cyclones and was the first one in 43 years to hit Odisha and one of the three to hit in the last 150 years. “Because of this rarity, tracking and prediction were challenging. Till 24 hours of landfall of the cyclone — one was not sure about the trajectory it was going to take,” Patnaik said.