Cyclone Amphan has caused great damage to west Bengal. This was considered to be one of the most intense cyclones since 1999 Odisha cyclone. It has made the loss of lives, infrastructure, livelihood, shortage of water and disruption to power supplies.
The cyclone has claimed the life of 86 people, leaving 6,58,000 people homeless so far.
It has also made severe Amphan damage to UNESCO world heritage site Sundarban, where hundreds of trees fell down, lands have become barren and damage to crop is irreparable. Sundarban has also the world’s largest mangrove forest on which lives of people living nearby is dependent.
They were using woods and honey from the forest as part of a business. According to a report, over 2 lakh farmers could be badly affected due to the damage made by Amphan. The bulk of the water that cyclone brought with itself has made the land barren, farmlands near the delta region have also been useless due to the salty water of the sea. While talking to media, a local resident said, “Amphan has killed Sundarban, it has destroyed all our trees and crops, what will we do now??”
Manthuram Pakhira, Affair minister of Sundarban region, in an interview with News 18 said-: 17,800 hectares of lands have been damaged due to the saline water which entered farmlands. He further added, Amphan has brought black day for them as 1,08,000 farmers have been badly affected. And that’s not enough, it has also made damage to the wildlife as Sundarban is home to 96 endangered species of tigers, Gangetic Dolphins and Olive Ridley Turtles.
The damage made by the Amphan is severe but it could be much worse but It was the Mangrove forest due to which Amphan made landfall at 160km/hr whose initial speed was 270km/hr. Mangrove forests are a natural defence against inclement weather like Cyclones, Storms that tear through the Bay of Bengal.