Cyclone Amphan: The true aftermath

Cyclone Amphan took place on the afternoon of 18th May, leaving a trail of havoc throughout Bengal, Orissa, and Bangladesh, affecting more than 10 million people and killing 86, with damage worth one lakh crore rupees according to some estimates. It was the worst cyclone to hit Bengal in 10 years, and in a country already reeling from the coronavirus pandemic, Bengal has been hit with one of the worst natural disasters it has faced.

While the damage to the Sundarbans,an important biodiversity hotspot In India and the world is yet completely unknown. It is feared that acres upon acres of farmland will be made unusable due to all the saline water coming in from the Bay of Bengal. Alongside this, all the effects on the flora and fauna will be unprecedented in Sundarbans if not protected. Sundarbans is the home of the Royal Bengal tiger and centuries old banyan trees among other indigenous species.

Visuals of cyclone Amphan tearing through and destroying homes in Bengal and Orissa have been shared extensively on social media. Trees being uprooted shattering glass, and even tales of parked cars moving by themselves due to the 150 + Kmph strong winds.

The strength of the storm also shows a terrifying glimpse of climate change, with many in the Sundarbans already having to relocate with the rising sea level, and the effect of Amphan could be an indicator of how bad things could get if climate change is not effectively controlled. With the environment being an increasingly relevant topic, the necessity to protect the Sundarbans and other biomes are only highlighted during these natural disasters. The effect of Cyclone Amphan would have been much worse if the Sundarbans hadn’t absorbed it

With West Bengal reeling and with the economy already in crisis, it is proving incredibly difficult to rehabilitate and rebuild after Amphan. However, with several students, professional groups and NGOs starting fundraisers and work on the ground, the day when Bengal will rise again better and stronger won’t be far.

List of Collectives and NGOs conducting relief work and requiring funds: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/u/0/d/1BmyPazZDnhSXLQ-UzCnLlDPuRUwDmaAE9wetAApV8sY/htmlview

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