Victims of cyclonic storm in east India await relief

Last Updated: Saturday, April 17, 2010 - 17:59

New Delhi: Victims of the devastating cyclonic storm in north Bengal, east Bihar and Assam, which left more than 120 people dead and several thousand homeless, are yet to receive basic relief like food, potable water and a shelter over their heads, international aid agency ActionAid said Saturday.

"The current official toll is likely to rise as roads are being cleared and rubble removed. With roads blocked and trees, electricity poles and mobile phone towers smashed down, communications and transport has been badly disrupted in West Bengal and Bihar," Susan Thomas of ActionAid India said in a statement released here.
"Survivors need food and shelter and are still awaiting basic relief," she added.

Quoting a victim, Kalpana of north Dinajpur district in West Bengal, the statement said: "My house is gone. I fled to save my life when the cyclone hit us in the night. I am living in the open and have no clothes and utensils left."

Joba Bhattacharya, an ActionAid official working in the storm-hit areas of West Bengal, said: "Ninety-five percent of homes in north Dinajpur district have been destroyed. Women and children are camping in open space. Many have very little clothing on them and need food. It`s a similar situation in other places."
According to government reports, 91,057 houses were destroyed completely while 76,080 houses were damaged partially in the cyclone.

However, in West Bengal, only 7,000 tarpaulins were distributed, which activists say is "not enough".

IANS



First Published: Saturday, April 17, 2010 - 17:59

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