Cyclone Bulbul: 10 killed, 2.73 lakh families affected in WB (Eds: Updates death toll, adds details) Kolkata, Nov 10 (PTI) Cyclone 'Bulbul', whichbarrelled through the coastal districts of West Bengal beforehurtling towards Bangladesh, claimed at least 10 lives andaffected at least 2.73 lakh families in different parts of thestate, official reports said on Sunday.
The severe cyclonic storm, which brought in its wakeheavy rain coupled with gale wind till early Sunday, uprootedhundreds of trees and snapped cables in the city and inthe coastal districts of North and South 24 Parganas and EastMidnapore, bring life to a near-halt.
State Disaster Management minister Javed Khan saidthat at least 2,473 houses were destroyed and another 26,000were partially damaged in the cyclone in the coastal districtsalong the Bay of Bengal, with the fishing towns of Bakkhaliand Namkhana being among the worst-affected areas.
He said that while 2.73 lakh families were affected inthe storm, 1.78 lakh people were moved to relief camps set upin nine places of the state.
'Bulbul' claimed the lives of five persons in separateincidents in North Parganas alone, an official said.
According to a senior police officer, a septuagenarianwoman, Suchitra Mandal, died at Purba Makala village inBasirhat area of the district when a tree fell on her.
Several trees were also uprooted at Gokhna village,one of which claimed the life of Reba Biswas (47).
Manirul Gazi (59) was the third casualty in North 24Parganas. He was electrocuted to death after coming in contactwith a lamp post, the officer added.
Two more deaths, one due to wall collapse and anotherafter coming under a falling tree, were also reported in thedistrict, a state government official said.
In East Midnapore, too, a man died after he wascrushed by a falling tree.
Two persons died in South 24 Parganas district incyclone-related incidents, the official said.
Body of one fisherman from Fraserganj fishing harbourin South 24 Parganas was recovered, a senior official of stateDisaster Management department said.
Eight other fishermen and four trawlers fromFraserganj were still missing, the official said.
Earlier, on Saturday, even before the cyclone hit thecoast, an employee of a renowned club in the city was killedwhen a branch of a cedar tree fell on him during heavy rain.
The minister said that 46,000 tarpaulin sheets weredistributed among people whose residences were damaged in thecyclone.
Gale wind with gusts up to 135 kmph prevailed overthe coastal districts of South 24 Parganas and East Midnaporeand its adjoining areas in North 24 Parganas as the cyclonemade landfall around midnight on Saturday.
Torrential rain lashed the metropolis throughoutSaturday, forcing people to remain indoors.
Hundreds of uprooted trees blocked thoroughfaresin the state capital and its fringe areas, even as peoplebraved the adverse conditions to come out of homes as theweather improved on Sunday afternoon.
The NDRF, along with the Kolkata Municipal Corporation(KMC), police and fire personnel, is working on a war footingto clear road blockades caused by fallen trees and branches.
'We have already engaged workers to clear the roadsand pump out water from low-lying areas. We are hopeful ourwork will be over by tonight,' said a KMC official.
Khan said, all emergency services have been put inplace to ensure that the uprooted trees are removed at theearliest.
According to the IMD, the very severe cyclonic stormhad weakened into severe cyclonic storm before making landfallclose to Sunderban Dhanchi forest.
'Yesterday's very severe cyclonic storm 'Bulbul' overnorthwest Bay of Bengal (BoB) moved northeastwards, weakenedinto a severe cyclonic storm and crossed West Bengal coastclose to Sunderban Dhanchi forest during 8.30 pm to 11.30 pmwith a maximum sustained wind speed of 110-120 kmph gusting to135 kmph,' it said.
The cyclonic storm is likely to weaken into a deepdepression and further into a depression as it moves east-northeastwards over coastal Bangladesh, the IMD said in abulletin on Sunday afternoon.
In a tweet, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said, shewould conduct an aerial survey of the affected areas aroundNamkhana and Bakkhali in South 24 Parganas.
'Due to the severe cyclonic storm 'Bulbul', I havedecided to postpone my North Bengal visit in the coming week.
Instead, tomorrow I would take an aerial survey of theaffected areas around Namkhana and Bakkhali.
'Later I would take a meeting at Kakdwip withadministration to review relief and rehabilitation measures ofthe cyclone-affected people. I am also planning to visit thecyclone-affected areas of Basirhat of North 24-Parganas on 13November, 2019,' Banerjee tweeted on Sunday.
State power minister Sovandeb Chattopadhyay said,measures were being taken to restore power supply in areas,where electric cables have been torn apart due to the cyclone.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spokewith West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee about thesituation arising out of the cylone and assured the state ofall assistance to deal with the calamity.
'Reviewed the situation in the wake of cycloneconditions and heavy rain in parts of Eastern India,' theprime minister wrote on Twitter. PTI PNT SCH AMR RMSMM MM