Districts of Kolkata, North and South 24 Parganas and East Midnapore have been severely affected- thousands have lost their homes, trees and power lines have been uprooted and large swathes of areas are still flooded. In the state of West Bengal, at least 15 people have lost their lives. Millions of people do not have electricity or phone/internet connectivity yet. Roadside shops and stalls have been completely destroyed, endangering the livelihoods of thousands already facing financial hardships due to the present lockdown.
Amphan has had a severe effect on the Sunderbans. Large scale flooding has salinated farmlands, destroying food crops and the fertility of the land for years to come. Communication has not yet been reestablished between Kolkata and the Sunderbans.
Disaster relief efforts in the aftermath of Amphan will be complicated further by the ongoing pandemic. Needless to say, we need to band together to rebuild Bengal from the debris left behind by Amphan.
The Bengali Students Association at Virginia Tech is raising funds to be disbursed to volunteer organizations working on the ground to help provide food and shelter to those in immediate need and to enable rehabilitation in the long term. Updates will be provided as and when funds are allocated.
Source: 1 , 2
PC: Dibyangshu Sarkar/AFP, Halley Goswami
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