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Cyclone Amphan batters Bangladesh, India

Christian Fernsby ▼ | May 20, 2020
The strongest cyclone in decades slammed into Bangladesh and eastern India Wednesday, sending water surging inland.
Cyclone Amphan batters
Storm   Cyclone Amphan batters
High winds and torrid rains pounded coastal villages and cities, bringing down power lines, uprooting trees and inundating homes.

Topics: Cyclone Amphan

"The situation is more worrying than the coronavirus pandemic. We don't know how to handle it," India's West Bengal state leader Mamata Banerjee told reporters late Wednesday.

"Almost everything is destroyed in the coastal villages of the state... It uprooted many trees and inundated many roads in Kolkata."

Authorities had scrambled to evacuate more than three million people from low-lying areas, but the task was complicated by the need to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

In Bangladesh officials confirmed six deaths including a five-year-old boy and a 75-year-old man, both hit by falling trees, and a cyclone emergency volunteer who drowned.

Three more died after being hit by uprooted trees in West Bengal, the state's disaster management minister Javed Khan told AFP.

Two other fatalities were reported by Indian media, including an infant crushed when the mud wall of the family's hut collapsed in heavy rain in Odisha state. AFP could not verify the deaths.