West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to declare Cyclone Amphan as national disaster.
She made the request at the Kolkata airport on Friday while receiving PM Modi who reached West Bengal to take stock of the devastation caused by the cyclone. PM Modi will conduct an aerial survey of the affected areas.
Banerjee had earlier pitched for central assistance and appealed to PM Modi to visit the cyclone-hit areas. The state government had moved out five lakh people to shield them from the cyclone that roared into the state on Wednesday, packing winds gusting to a top speed of 185 kmph.
The chief minister had earlier said on Thursday that Rs 1,000 crore fund has been created for restoration work for areas affected by Cyclone Amphan. She also said that the cyclone has claimed the lives of 80 people in the state, according to news agency ANI.
PM Modi had assured West Bengal on Thursday that the country stands in solidarity with it as the state counts its losses in the wake of cyclone Amphan.
“Have been seeing visuals from West Bengal on the devastation caused by Cyclone Amphan. In this challenging hour, the entire nation stands in solidarity with West Bengal. Praying for the well-being of the people of the state. Efforts are on to ensure normalcy,” the Prime Minister had said in a tweet.
Cyclone Amphan has left 72 people dead and thousands homeless in West Bengal, battering several parts of the state and washing away bridges and swamping low-lying areas.
Two teams of the National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF) were airlifted by Indian Air Force (IAF) from Pune to Kolkata on Thursday, to help in the rescue and relief operations.