Kolkata: Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced an advance interim assistance of Rs 1,000 crore for cyclone-hit West Bengal on Friday (May 22). In a video message after reviewing the situation with Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Basirhat in North 24 Parganas district, the Prime Minister also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh to the families of each of those killed during the devastation caused by cyclone Amphan, and Rs 50,000 for the injured.
At least 77 people have been reported killed so far in the state due to the extremely severe cyclone.
Large-scale damage to infrastructure, public and private property was reported from North and South 24 Parganas, East and West Midnapore, Kolkata, Howrah and Hooghly districts.
"Under the leadership of CM Mamata Banerjee, West Bengal is doing its bit in a fighting crisis caused by cyclone Amphan," PM Modi said. "I announce an advance interim assistance of Rs 1,000 crore for the state. A detailed survey will be conducted of the damage to agriculture, power and other sectors, besides damage to houses. In this time of distress and despair, the entire country and the Centre are with the people of Bengal," he said.
Earlier today, ahead of PM Modi's aerial survey in Bengal, Mamata contended that the calamity, which has left at least 80 dead, is more than a natural disaster. She said it will take time to restore normalcy, with cyclone Amphan having ravaged at least 7-8 districts in Bengal, and adversely impacting 60 per cent of the state's population.
"This is more than a national disaster. I have not seen such devastation in my life. 60 per cent of people have been affected in West Bengal. More than six crores have been directly affected," she said.