It was already one of those difficult times when the entire humanity is pushed at the wall, under lockdown situation due to COVID-19, and social distancing. When the entire World was more virtual than in person, Bengal and Odhisa suffered a rampage by the recently hit cyclone Amphan. It has just devastated an entire state, with more than 100 deaths, and the entire city under grief.
This blog is about the truth, and experiences shared by a few citizens of Kolkata.
Nager Bazar, Dum Dum, Kolkata
It was a fearful evening when we all were facing a humungous natural calamity in the form of cyclone Amphaan. Life is already stretched and miserable due to health hazard and fear of pandemic corona. The experience was really scary when the cyclone was in its full form. Though I am fortunate enough to have the roof on my head, food, and other amenities still it was very scary and one moment I thought all windows of my house will be broken by the sheer intensity of the storm and my house will be flooded. But luckily it did not happen. But when I see my city after the cyclone it’s really pathetic and heartbreaking experience to see the devastation. The city where we grew up, spent our childhood and now it’s a part of daily life is gone for such a toss and it’s unthinkable. Also looking at the devastation and destruction in and around the city and especially the rural areas where people have suffered the worst possible calamity in their life. I can only thank god with gratitude seeing those miserable faces of small children and shelterless people who were already fighting a pandemic without having a job and other amenities in life. It’s really painful and depressing to describe the situation as no words are enough to describe it and only those people know who suffered it and faced it. But those who are privileged and better off they can at least come forward and help in rebuilding with their support in any form possible. And in the end my deepest prayers and compassion to those unfortunate people who only know how they are coping and dealing with life with twin calamities and horrible situations in their life and I think words or write up is not enough at this juncture.
Amphan was a tropical deadly cyclone that struck the delta areas of West Bengal and Orissa. The cyclone left a fatal impact mainly on the southern parts of West Bengal which includes both the 24 Parganas, Kolkata, Howrah, and Hooghly districts. Ranked as 5th level super cyclone Amphan was formed on 15th May 2020 and made landfall on 20th May 2020 afternoon. With a wind speed of 185kmph Amphan devastated the Gangetic plains, poor peoples being the main sufferers. People of Bengal have never seen such a cyclone for the past 70 years. About 80 people have lost their lives with many others being severely injured because of the cyclone. Houses ruptured, roofs made of tins and asbestos gusted off, houses washed away by waters that flooded the nearby villages, crops destroyed and many other destructions had been made by the cyclone. Even here in cities thousands of trees have fallen, electric poles and
transformers sparkled and flashed leaving the City of Joy in utter dismay. Amphan has been a crown on the head of Corona. The situation being such with lockdowns because of corona there is less manpower as a result of which peoples are still suffering without electricity, water, mobile network, and from roadblocks even post 3 days of the cyclone. In a sentence, the super cyclone Amphan has turned the lively state of West Bengal and the City of Joy, Kolkata to a state of mourning and a city of devastation.
Srividya S R
Action area 3, New Town, Kolkata
A day I realized what fear is actually and how we are nothing in front of the wrath of nature. The rattling sound of the sliding doors and windows, the sight of the windows shaking and wanting to just move out of the wall, the terrifying sound of the mighty winds, the water flooding in son's room and son crying uncontrollably thinking his room is gone and the building is going to fall, the bathroom ceiling falling with a loud thud, the debris, and dust scattered in the bedroom, the ear pain due to the massive pressure, the crying, the prayer, the fear, the unsaid, the said ..ufff !!! It now feels as if it was a nightmare, but it was REAL. We who stay in a high rise premium society in Kolkata felt terrible and Thankfully had only materialistic damage which would be repaired in due course of time, but what about the ones who are not so privileged, who is going to repair their damages ???
Hazra Road, Kolkata
20-May 2020 will be remembered as a horror day. We are a senior citizen couple, residing alone in our ancestral building in the heart of the city, and we saw, the city suffering from a severe heart attack that night...the city just changed, as if she has been tortured to the extreme. We all were warned in advance, news channels, social media, and even the government officials in person have intimated us to stay home and lock all doors and windows. But still, we never anticipated that this Amphan would be so much violence. Violent to the extent that it didn't bother the doors and windows being shut. It just shook it hard to break all possible means to rush inside and just damage all our lives. Our living rooms on the fourth floor got flooded with water, and we could do nothing to save it. That's the point we realized, we are privileged, we have at least a roof on our head. What about the people on the streets, the slum, the one residing in old dialectic buildings? Many have died, many are homeless. The working teams are already minimalized due to this lockdown, and we don't even have the skilled force team to tackle this situation and bring back life to the city, towards normal like the 19th May-2020. This is like a double disaster and I feel pain and pity for my City.
How one can support
It needs huge manpower to volunteer the workforce to clean up the roads, make daily needs available, and bring back hopes to Weste Bengal. So, please do not hesitate to come forward during this hour of need.
Financial is also a major aspect, and we have many NGOs and Teams working in this regard. We at VIBGYOR have also associated with Sporsho, BiH (Bengalis in Hyderabad), HBFF (Hyderabad Bengali Film Festival), and Collage team, to do our small support initiative for the situation.
The other information in the same line gathered till date are as below
Please do not hesitate to come forward to support West Bengal during this hour of crisis. More than financial support, which is a simple way to do, we need youth power.
Please feel free to share your own experience on 20th May 2020 during Amphan. Mail your feelings in English to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Share images clicked by you (no forwards) to elaborate the text and situation across your locality. Please do not forget to mention the exact locality name, district/city. If there is any specific help you need, let us know. We will try our best to convey the same to Kolkata Police, and make a necessary way out to reach out to your requirements. If you know NGOs who are working for this cause, please share the details, so that we may include those details in this content, for awareness.