The state of West Bengal is reeling under the worst ever cyclone in the past 237 years. On 20th May, the Super Cyclone “Amphan” struck the Sundarbans in the district of South 24 Parganas. Then “Amphan” devastated four districts and passed over five more districts in its way, causing further losses. The gust winds struck at 185 kmph, caused heavy downpour in the entire state, and practically halted civil life. Many lives have been lost, and the fall-out of the devastation will claim many more.
The life and livelihood of a few crores of people in the state are in a state of ruin. Additionally, this cyclone contributed the heaviest rainfall in history for the month of May in the state. According to IMD the rainfall was around 300 mm. Many dams, bridges, electric extension lines, telephone towers, drinking water supply systems are destroyed in the affected districts. Entire South and North 24 Parganas have been flooded very badly. Kolkata and Howrah districts were also partially flooded. Since 20th May, lakhs of people are without food, drinking water, shelter and electricity. People don’t know how to survive in this situation and for how many days this situation will continue.
Agriculture is very badly effected and there will be no crop this season. In many parts of North and South 24 Parganas and East Midnapur districts, salty sea water flooded crop lands, making agriculture impossible in the coming years also. The repeated devastation by cyclones like “Aila”, “Phani” and now “Amphan” has made the life of common people very difficult. Lakhs of people have already lost their means of subsistence due to the lock-down. Now the devastation caused by the super-cyclone has multiplied their misery. Immediate help needs to be provided to the deeply distressed people.
Initial estimate of the loss is around one Lakh crore and is rising as experts take stock of different aspects of the loss.
The Breakthrough Science Society has always tried to stand beside the people affected by natural calamities like the floods in West Bengal, super-cyclone in Odisha, earthquakes in Latur, Kutchh and Nepal, cloudburst in Uttarakhand, Tsunami in Andaman, etc. Presently our affiliated science clubs in different localities are engaged in collecting relief materials and are distributing to the needy.
We request you to contribute generously for this noble endeavor. Kindly send the donation to our account mentioned below. Online transfer may be made in favour of ‘Breakthrough Science Society’ (Account No. 20085875500 ; IFSC Code: ALLA0210037 ; Bank: Allahabad Bank ; Branch: Gariahat Branch, Kolkata ; MICR Code: 700010025). Additionally, you can donate us through https://tinyurl.com/bssrelief
We promise you to keep you informed about the details of the relief work undertaken.
We thank for your generosity.
Dr Radhakanta Koner
Secretary, Breakthrough Science Society, West Bengal chapter