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At least 8 dead, millions evacuated as cyclone slams India and Bangladesh

Siddhartha Kumar and Nazrul Islam, DPA on

Published in Weather News

NEW DELHI -- One of the most powerful storms over the Bay of Bengal in recent years lashed India and Bangladesh on Wednesday, killing at least eight people, forcing more than 3 million to evacuate and leaving a trail of destruction in the region.

The "extremely severe cyclonic storm" Amphan made landfall on the coast of the state of West Bengal on Wednesday afternoon with wind speeds of up to 115 miles per hour (185 kilometers per hour), the Indian Meteorological Department said.

Kolkata, the regional capital, was pounded with rains and fierce winds reaching 75 mph (120 km/h), with reports of damage to infrastructure.

Television footage showed parked cars being slammed into each other and flooded houses in the densely populated city of 15 million people.

Millions were hunkering down in their homes and storm shelters in India and Bangladesh as powerful winds uprooted trees, destroyed informal housing and toppled electricity poles, disrupting power supply in some areas.

Two people died in Basirhat in the North 24 Parganas district of India's West Bengal after trees fell on them during the storm, an official at the district disaster control room said.

 

A 13-year-old girl died after being struck by a tin roof in Howrah district, local media reported. In neighboring Odisha state, disaster management chief PK Jena said they had received reports that a 3-month-old baby had died in a wall collapse.

In Bangladesh, a 70-year-old man died after a tree fell on him in the southern island district of Bhola, government official Zaynal Abedin said.

A 5-year-old boy and woman were killed after trees fell on them in southern Patuakhali and Satkhira districts, local officials said.

Divers have retrieved the body of the 60-year old local volunteer of the Red Crescent Society more than five hours after a boat overturned in a canal near southern Kalapara town of Patuakhali district, police officer GM Shahnewaj said.

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