Prime Minister Modi To Undertake Aerial Survey Of Cyclone-Hit West Bengal And Odisha On Friday
Motorists ride past an uprooted tree following gusty winds ahead of the landfall of Cyclone Amphan. (Source: PTI)

Prime Minister Modi To Undertake Aerial Survey Of Cyclone-Hit West Bengal And Odisha On Friday

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will undertake an aerial survey of "cyclone-hit" areas on Friday, official sources said.

A powerful cyclone Amphan tore into West Bengal, leaving 72 people dead and thousands homeless, battering several parts of the state and washing away bridges and swamping low-lying areas.

The fiercest cyclone to hit West Bengal in 100 years destroyed mud houses and crops, and uprooted trees and electric poles. It also wreaked havoc in Odisha damaging power and telecom infrastructure in several coastal districts. Odisha government officials estimated it has affected around 44.8 lakh people in the state.

Earlier in the day, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee called on Modi to visit the state. "I have never witnessed such a fierce cyclone and destruction in my life. I would request Prime Minister Narendra Modi to come and visit Cyclone Amphan-affected areas," Banerjee said.

The chief minister also announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh to Rs 2.5 lakh for the family members of each of the deceased.

In Kolkata, hundreds of cars were overturned in the strong winds with speed up to 125 kmph that also felled trees and electricity poles blocking key arterial roads and intersections. Large parts of Kolkata and other affected districts went without power. Mobile and internet services were also disrupted as the fierce cyclone had damaged several communication towers.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said no stone will be left unturned in helping those affected by the cyclone.

"Have been seeing visuals from West Bengal on the devastation caused by Cyclone Amphan," he tweeted. In this challenging hour, the entire nation stands in solidarity with West Bengal, the prime minister said.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and his West Bengal counterpart Banerjee, and assured them of all entral help.

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