Cyclone Amphan, before shifting towards Murshidabad left a trail of destruction while hovering between Memari, Monteswar and Kalna – 1 blocks for nearly one and a half hours in Burdwan (East) last night and the district Agriculture administration already has estimated crop damage worth Rs 299 Crore as yet.
The strong wind with an estimated speed of 90 kmph continued circling over the Burdwan (East) blocks of Memari, Monteswar, Kalna – 1 till 11:45 pm last night also caused extensive damage to the residential quarters razing 254 houses to ground and leaving partial damage to 1564 residential houses. It ravaged the farmlands of Burdwan (East) – the largest paddy growing district of the state.
“Boro paddy on 46,712 hectares was still left to be harvested and crops on 33,000 hectares got absolutely destroyed due to Amphan. Besides, sesame on 12,340 hectares and summer vegetable cultivated on 5,000 hectares also was wiped out,” said Vijay Bharti, DM, Burdwan (East).
He added: “The worst hit blocks were – Galsi – I & II, Ausgram – I & II, Mongalkote, Bhatar and Monteswar along with Burdwan – I & II.”
In Galsi – I block alone, paddy on 9570 hectares was washed away. The district had cultivated Boro paddy on 1.71 lakh hectares and as stated Jagannath Chatterjee, Deputy Director, Agriculture: “Our district recorded an average rainfall of 118 mm but rainfall in Purbasthali – II and Ketugram – II were least at 38 mm and 48 mm.”
Domestic quarters in villages – Keuguri, Uddharanpur, Sitahati, Sujapur, Mougram and Begunkole in Ketugram – II blocks close to Murshidabad suffered the worst. Also, Dainhat, Katwa Municipality areas had to bear the brunt of damage to residential houses, the officials said. The district Disaster Management Cell estimated that at least a populace of 50,000 was affected due to yesterday’s Amphan spell.
Power supply also was badly hit in most of the rural quarters across Burdwan (East) because large uprooted trees fell on and snapped the power cables. “We were yet to restore power supply to 30 percent of the villages, though our entire sub-stations were charged before the afternoon hours,” said Raju Mondal, Regional Manager, WBSEDCL in Burdwan. He added: “Till this afternoon, the power load has dropped to 45 percent consumption level due to the catastrophe.”