Cyclone ‘Bulbul’, which barrelled through the coastal districts of West Bengal, smashed into Bangladesh on Sunday killing at least 10 people in the low-lying areas. The cyclone packed winds of up to 120 kilometres per hour (kph) when it made a predawn landfall before weakening into a deep depression, forcing the authorities to evacuate over 21 lakh people.
Private TV channels quoting unofficial sources said the Cyclone Bulbul claimed 10 lives. However, the Disaster Management Ministry confirmed only eight deaths. “Eight people were killed as the cyclone hit our coastlines most being victims of collapse of houses and tree fall in six of the (southwestern) coastal districts," Disaster Management Ministry's Secretary Shah Kamal
In West Bengal, the severe cyclonic storm, which brought in its wake heavy rain coupled with gale wind till early Sunday, uprooted hundreds of trees and snapped cables in the city and its adjoining areas in North and South 24 Parganas and East Midnapore, bring life to a near-halt.
In North Parganas alone, five people were killed in separate incidents.
According to a senior police officer, a septuagenarian woman, Suchitra Mandal, died at Purba Makala village in Basirhat area of the district when a tree fell on her.
Several trees were also uprooted at Gokhna village, one of which claimed the life of Reba Biswas (47).
Manirul Gazi (59) was the third casualty in North 24 Parganas. He was electrocuted to death after coming in contact with a lamp post, the officer added.
Two more deaths, one due to wall collapse and another after coming under a falling tree, were also reported in the district, a state government official said.
Torrential rain lashed the metropolis throughout Saturday, forcing people to remain indoors. Gale wind with gusts up to 135 kmph prevailed over the coastal districts of South 24 Parganas and East Midnapore and its adjoining areas in North 24 Parganas as the cyclone made landfall around midnight on Saturday.