The death toll after a cyclone slammed into West Bengal rose to seven yesterday.
Cyclone Bulbul also affected over 273,000 people, senior ministers said.
Five deaths were reported from Basirhat sub-division in North 24 Parganas district, while South 24 Parganas and East Midnapore districts recorded one death each in the storm which crossed the West Bengal coast close to Sundarban Dhanchi forest between 8.30pm and 11.30pm on Saturday.
Disaster Management Minister Javed Khan said 273,000 people were affected, while 178,000 were sheltered in 471 relief camps.
The state government was operating 373 group kitchens.
Khan said 2,470 houses were damaged, but according to state Food and Supplies Minister Jyotipriyo Mullick, the figure was 3,100 in the worst-hit Basirhat sub-division alone.
Mullick, who toured Basirhat yesterday, said the condition of Sandeshkhali was “very bad”.
“There has been massive damage to agricultural land. We have to meet the crisis on a war footing,” he said.
Khan said in Kolkata six teams of National Disaster Response Force and four State Disaster Response Force teams were carrying out rescue operations in the affected areas.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said at least 75 passengers of a cruise ship in the Bay of Bengal were rescued by the police.
“These people did not know about the calamity. The 24 Parganas South police superintendent led the rescue,” Banerjee said.
The passengers have been sheltered in Mousuni Island, located near Namkhana.
“The passengers and crew said they don’t need food, but only shelter. They will be there till the situation normalises,” said the chief minister.
Banerjee said authorities rescued 1,64,315 people from the low-lying areas in coastal districts.
“There has been lot of damage. The cyclone ravage is spread around 200km. We have to conduct a survey for which we will use a drone. Lots of thatched houses have collapsed, agricultural land damaged,” she said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah yesterday spoke to Banerjee to take stock of the situation.
Modi assured Banerjee of all possible assistance from the central government.
Shah also held a telephone conversation with Banerjeee and promised all possible help.
The cyclone also caused severe damage in Odisha.
At least 300,000 hectares of crop area including horticulture crops have been affected while 5,500 houses have been damaged, officials said.
Six coastal districts were affected following heavy rain and strong wind triggered by the storm, which passed through the coastal areas on Saturday.
Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapada, Bhadrak Balasore and Mayurbhanj have been affected.
Chief Secretary Asit Kumar Tripathy reviewed the cyclone situation yesterday.
“As per preliminary estimation, nearly 3 lakh hectare of crop area including horticulture crops have been affected out of which about 2 Lakh hectare have suffered crop loss to the extent of 33% and above,” he said.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik will make an aerial survey of the affected districts today.
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