Cyclone Aila hits Bengal, 21 killed, 1.10 lakh affected

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  1. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    Cyclone 'Aila' hits Bengal, 21 killed, 1.10 lakh affected

    Mon, May 25 09:39 PM


    Kolkata, May 25 (PTI) Cyclone Aila spawned from a deep depression in the Bay of Bengal to hit West Bengal today leaving 21 people dead and a population of 1.10 lakh affected, before gradually weakening. The highest number of 14 deaths, according to official sources, was reported from South 24 Parganas district, followed by five in the metropolis and one each in Bankura and Howrah districts "The cyclone, now lying stationery 50 km west of Kolkata, hit the West Bengal coast at 1.30 pm near Sagar Island.

    It is moving in a northerly direction and will weaken gradually," Regional Meteorological Centre Director G C Debnath told PTI. "Rains, however, will continue throughout tomorrow," he said. A severe storm with a wind speed of 110 kmph accompanied by heavy rainfall preceded the cyclone ripping through Kolkata, North and South 24 Parganas, Howrah, Hooghly, Burdwan and East Midnapore districts at 110 kmph.

    Unofficial reports, however, put the toll at 26 and the number of affected at over two lakh. PTI.


    Cyclone Aila hits Bengal, 21 killed - Yahoo! India News
     
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  3. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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  4. Pintu

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    Weather clears in city hit by cyclone Aila

    Weather clears in city hit by cyclone Aila

    Kolkata, May 26 (PTI) The city woke up to a sunny morning after being hit by cyclone Aila which left a trail of destruction and claimed 23 lives.

    The fear of the cyclone and its after effects are over, regional MET director G C Debnath told PTI.

    However, due to the cyclone that hit the region yesterday, the monsoon has set in Gangetic West Bengal a fortnight before schedule and there is a possibility of rain today.

    The monsoon usually arrives in Gangetic West Bengal on June 8.

    The city is fast coming back to normal with schools, markets and offices opening, Deputy Commissioner (HQ) Javed Shamim said.

    Six persons were killed in the the city yesterday due to the cyclone.

    Uprooted trees were found in some areas of the city while water logging was reported from several areas of the city and suburbs.

    The cyclone spawned from a deep depression in the Bay of Bengal to hit West Bengal, affecting a population of 1.10 lakh. PTI
     
  5. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    Storm Aila kills 32 across Bengal - India - The Times of India

    Storm Aila kills 32 across Bengal

    26 May 2009, 0405 hrs IST, TNN

    KOLKATA: As the city prayed for rain, a storm silently brewed 750 km from Kolkata, deep inside the Bay of Bengal. The small patch of white cloud detected over the sea by weather office radars at 11.30 am on May 23 had looked anything but threatening. A low-pressure area that might not develop into anything more potent, it seemed. Even if it did, it would perhaps veer towards Bangladesh like it so often has.

    But this time it did not. The tiny white patch on the radar swelled into a mighty cyclone — the Aila. Unlike Bijli, that gave the city a go-by a month ago, Aila wreaked havoc in the city, its suburbs and across south Bengal, leaving 32 dead.

    When Aila hit Kolkata on Monday morning, exactly 48 hours after its formation, it had picked up enough moisture, wind speed and firepower to immobilize a city that had been longing for showers but was not ready for a sudden twister that would plough through it. Seven persons were killed in the city and 500 trees uprooted, halting traffic at almost every major thoroughfare. Lamp-posts were twisted out of shape and electric lines snapped, plunging parts of the city into darkness. Educational institutions and business establishments were forced to shut down.


    As the storm raged, the waters of the Ganga swelled and turned choppy. A launch on its way to Howrah was swept away to the Netaji Subhas dock in Kidderpore. Down south, the Sunderbans witnessed even more scary scenes. Almost all the major tributaries of the Ganga flowed above the danger mark with giant waves — some soaring above 20 feet — lashing the shores, destroying more than 100 embankments and inundating villages.

    The city administration and police swung into action and a virtual emergency was declared. Kolkata was last hit by a cyclone in 1981.

    Thanks to instruments like the Doppler Weather Radar, Aila had been predicted before it was born. Warnings were issued but alarm bells were not rung. It was on Kolkata before the city knew what to expect. Warning signals were clear as it started raining since early morning. Around 12.30 pm, the wind suddenly picked up and the rain got severe. As hoardings collapsed and missiles of all shapes flew about, Kolkata panicked. How long will it last? Will it get worse?

    The questions kept doing the rounds as pedestrians rushed for cover. Shops downed shutters, classes in schools and colleges gave over and offices in the 24x7 Salt Lake IT sector declared a shutdown.
     
  6. Pintu

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  7. threadbrowser

    threadbrowser Regular Member

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    RIP

    Was expecting our usual indian multi 100s level death toll. Thankfully seems to be below 50 so far.
     
  8. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    Another most concerned fact , dozens of endangered Royal Bengal Tigers killed in the Cyclone.

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cyclone-Aila-swallows-Sunderbans-tigers/articleshow/4581985.cms

    Cyclone Aila swallows Sunderbans tigers

    27 May 2009, 0305 hrs IST, Prithvijit Mitra & Monotosh Chakraborty, TNN


    KOLKATA: It's not just residents of Kolkata who bore the brunt of Cyclone Aila. Forest wardens fear that as the cyclone tore through the Sunderbans flooding the mangrove forests, it may have killed more than a dozen of the highly endangered Bengal tigers. As the human toll from Monday's cyclone rose to 64, beat officers and range officials in the Sunderbans feared hundreds of herbivores and at least a dozen tigers might have been swept away by the giant waves that lashed the forests. While a tiger had sneaked into the Jamespur village wading through the flood waters and was tranquillised early on Tuesday morning, 20 crocodiles and two spotted deer were found dead.

    The full extent of the damage will be known only after an assessment by forest teams. As per the last census, the Sunderbans had 265 tigers.

    Pintu Mirdha of Jamespur got the shock of his life when he spotted a male tiger crouching in his waterlogged cowshed. Mirdha managed to shut the cowshed door and informed the forest department. But forest guards had to wait for the water to recede to get close to the animal. Neighbours were asked to evacuate as the animal paced up and down the locked cowshed. At around 1pm, when the water level went down during low tide, the male tiger was tranquillised.

    "It swam into the village that was left flooded after the cyclone. Since most villagers weren't present at the submerged huts, no one noticed the animal," said Subrat Mukherjee, field director, Sunderban Tiger Reserve.

    "A storm like this has never hit the Sunderbans in the last three decades. Going by the extent of damage to the villages, the state of the forest could be terrible. Forests remained under eight feet of water till late Tuesday afternoon. Immediately after Aila hit, it had gone up to 20 feet," said Mrinal Chattopadhyay of the Institute of Climbers and Nature Lovers.

    "Even if tigers manage to swim to higher grounds, deer and wild boars must have been swept away," he said. Wardens fear that even if tigers survived the giant waves, the lack of prey will certainly kill them.

    But some forest officials were cautious. "We shall study the damage once the water level goes down," said Subhendu Bandopadhyay, divisional forest officer, South 24-Parganas. Beat wardens, however, said no assessment would be possible until the waters recede and that could take weeks. By that time many of the carcasses would have disintegrated to nothing.
     
  9. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    Solar units help Aila-hit Sunderbans victims stay connected

    Solar units help Aila-hit Sunderbans victims stay connected


    Neha Sinha Posted: Thursday , May 28, 2009 at 0107 hrs IST


    New Delhi:

    Though cyclone Aila has ravaged Sunderbans, it has failed to cut it off completely from the mainland. Phones and a weather warning and climate adaptation system are still functional — thanks to solar energy cells.

    Mud huts and pucca (concrete) schools in the islands have small solar units, which can charge phones, work a light, and sometimes power a television. Given its difficult landscape, Sunderbans falls off the conventional energy grid with none of its islands having power connection.

    And while most mud huts have been flattened in the cyclone, the pucca structures still have functional solar cells. Like in the Bali island, which houses around 25,000 people. “I have phoned the Block Development Officer based in Gosaba (another island) and told him about what is happening in Bali. My solar unit is working, and I have been able to charge my phone,” Sukumar Paira, headmaster of the island’s only senior secondary school, said from Bali.

    An early warning and climate adaptation system, linked to Indian National Centre for Ocean Information, Hyderabad, was set up by the World Wildlife Fund at Mousani Island.

    Powered by solar energy, the system warned about the storm, giving the people some preparation time. “We told villagers to move away from embankments. Though we could not estimate the magnitude of the storm, we were able to prevent casualties,” says Anurag Danda, WWF Co-ordinator.
     
  10. Pintu

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    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...-reaches-82-rescue-on/articleshow/4579233.cms


    Cyclone Aila death toll reaches 82, rescue on

    26 May 2009, 2232 hrs IST, PTI


    KOLKATA: A day after Cyclone Aila battered coastal West Bengal, especially 24 Parganas, uprooting trees, snapping power cables and leaving a trail of destruction in its wake, rescue operations were on in full swing Tuesday with the army also moving in to help, as the death toll mounted to 82.

    The cyclone that also affected more than 400,000 people has begun to weaken and move off.

    Twenty-two people have died due to heavy landslides in Darjeeling, while in North 24 Parganas, 16 were killed in the storms.

    Fifteen deaths were reported from South 24 Parganas and nine in Kolkata. Seven people lost their lives in Howrah, five in Hooghly, three in Murshidabad, two in Birbhum and one each in Malda, East Midnapore and Bakura.

    The state government carried out rescue operations in Kolkata's neighbouring South 24 Parganas district where the cyclone and the accompanying heavy rains inundated large swathes of land and left thousands homeless.

    Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee visited many of the affected islands in the Sundarbans delta and held meetings with the district administration and police officials at Jamtala and Nimpith villages to chalk out plans for the rescue operation.

    "Over four lakh people are affected due to yesterday's (Monday) Cyclone Aila. I have told my officers to provide dry food to all the cyclone victims. The Sundarbans development authority has started rescue operations in different parts of the district," Bhattacharjee told reporters after a meeting with Sundarban affairs minister Kanti Ganguly and senior district officials at Jamtala.

    He said the army had been called for carrying out rescue operations in different parts of the Sundarbans Islands. "We'll also seek the army's help to reach assistance to Pathapratima, Gosaba and Basanti Island," he said.

    Addressing hundreds of homeless villagers at a temporary camp, he assured them that the state government would provide compensation within next two days.

    "Thousands of pouches of drinking water have been distributed among the cyclone victims and the state government has also opened several community kitchens across Sundarbans region," Bhattacharjee added.

    According to the Alipur Met office, Cyclone Aila has weakened and was now heading in the northern direction. "The cyclone is passing through the northern districts of West Bengal," a Met official said.

    "The north Bengal districts are likely to witness medium to heavy rain over the next day," he said.

    According to sources at the defence ministry's Eastern Command, two columns of army, each consisting of 100 personnel, have been sent to the Sundarbans for carrying out relief operations. Air dropping of food packets was also carried out in the district. Meanwhile, railways minister Mamata Banerjee visited parts of the Kakdeep Island in the Sundarbans. She travelled to the area by train after formally taking over charge as the railways minister here - instead of New Delhi.

    Train services were largely hit in both Eastern Railway (ER) and South Eastern Railway (SER). A number of long-distance and local trains were cancelled in the aftermath of the cyclone that uprooted trees that blocked rail tracks in many places.

    Telephone and mobile networks, ATMs, broadband services and the cable television network were also hit across Kolkata and its adjoining districts after Monday's devastation.
     

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