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Cyclone Amphan’s death toll climbs to 83 in India and Bangladesh – VIDEO

Anukul

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Cyclone Amphan’s death toll climbs to 83 in India and Bangladesh – VIDEO | The Thaiger
PHOTO: aljazeera.com
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Today the clean up starts in the aftermath of Cyclone Amphan after it reached the coastline Wednesday evening and started heading inland. In parts of Bangladesh and West Bengal (eastern India boarding Bangladesh), at least 83 people have died. It’s affected some 10 million Indian and Bangladeshi people, leaving countless homeless.

With winds around 170 kilometre per hour, most of the deceased were killed by falling trees, electrocuted by downed power poles or trapped within collapsed buildings, leaving a trail of destruction and grief.

Cyclone Amphan's death toll climbs to 83 in India and Bangladesh - VIDEO | News by The Thaiger

Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister of West Bengal, told local media in a press conference that, “she had never seen such a disaster before and the impact of Amphan cyclone is worse than the coronavirus.”

On Tuesday and Wednesday, as the storm barrelled up the Bay of Bengal, emergency crews headed to populated beach areas, trying to convince locals to leave their homes and evacuate to the shelters. Read more HERE

Around 3 million people in India and Bangladesh followed the calls and moved to safety. However, Indian police officers say that some villagers resisted going to shelters as they feared becoming stuck in a closed space with thousands of others at a time the coronavirus.

Yesterday, after the cyclone had weakened as it moved inland towards the northeastern parts of India, with wind speeds of 60 kilometre per hour. Many villagers who had fled to the cyclone shelters began heading back to their villages, only to find their homes completely wrecked.

Among the reported deaths, the authorities revealed that 10 people had died in Bangladesh, and at least 73 in India, 15 in Kolkata alone.

Cyclone Amphan's death toll climbs to 83 in India and Bangladesh - VIDEO | News by The Thaiger

Ms. Banerjee, the West Bengal minister, says that the region was in a “warlike” situation and that the loss of lives could surpass the toll of Covid-19. The authorities there reported that “Bangladesh seemed to do better at getting people into emergency shelters, evacuating a total of 2.4 million people. Whereas in India, officials estimated that only around 660,000 had been evacuated.”

“Even the local news was focused more on coronavirus than the cyclone, when the government finally started evacuating people and people realised the intensity of the storm, it was too late.”

Cyclone Amphan's death toll climbs to 83 in India and Bangladesh - VIDEO | News by The Thaiger

Today Indian PM Narendra Modi left New Delhi to conduct an aerial survey of the worst hit areas of West Bengal and Odisha states.

Through an initial assessment, officials in Bangladesh say the cyclone caused damage to infrastructure, homes, fisheries, livestock, water supplies and agriculture to about US$130 million (more than 4 billion baht). The full extent of the damage is not yet full apparent and the death toll is expected to rise.

The PM says that “no stone will be left unturned in helping the affected.”

SOURCE: Ny Times | Aljaeera | Times of India | Hosted

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My name is Anukul, I a writer for the Thaiger, I specialise in translation articles and social media, and assisting with our video production. I previously worked at Phuket Gazette and attended BIS international school in Phuket.

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Pattaya

Pattaya mayor responds to video showing black water gushing into the sea next to Walking Street

Jack Burton

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Pattaya mayor responds to video showing black water gushing into the sea next to Walking Street | The Thaiger
PHOTO: We Love Pattaya

With Pattaya’s beaches reopening this week, for the first time since they were closed in March, there is still concern about what the City’s officials are pumping into the Gulf of Thailand off the Pattaya coast. Last Monday, filthy black water was seen gushing into the Gulf of Thailand right next to Pattaya’s famous Walking Street. The video, from the ‘We Love Pattaya’ Facebook page showed filthy water pouring into the sea from a pumping station near the entrance.

It seems the new Pattaya Beach Road drains are WORKING 🇹🇭🙏🇹🇭Big rain no beach road floods ❤️🤍💙

Posted by We Love Pattaya on Thursday, May 28, 2020

Pattaya’s mayor tried to explain away the video, saying it wasn’t sewage but muddy storm runoff, intentionally released into the sea rather than remain on the streets to flood homes and businesses.

“All wastewater is sent via different pipes to sewage treatment plants.”

“Usually storm runoff is channelled through filters to remove trash and debris, but in times of heavy rainfall, the system can’t keep up and water backs up and floods homes. In that case city engineers have the option to open filter gates and allow rainwater to run directly into the sea.”

He insisted the dark colour of the water was sand and sediment, and not sewage.

Pattaya mayor responds to video showing black water gushing into the sea next to Walking Street | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Thai PBS World

But in late May, tourists were warned not to swim in Pattaya, especially off the Na Chom Thian beach, after the coastal waters in the area turned black and emitted a foul smell, reportedly from untreated waste water. The Pattaya City administration issued an order temporarily suspending swimming in the sea near Pattaya until officials found the source of the effluent and fixed it.

Yesterday the scenes at Bang Saen Beach, further up the Chon Buri coast, wereteeming with people.

SOURCES: Thai PBS World

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Central Thailand

4 metre python caught after eating school’s pets

Caitlin Ashworth

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4 metre python caught after eating school’s pets | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Siamrath

Cats and chickens have been going missing at a central Thailand school for the past month or so. Turns out they ended up in the stomach of a 4 metre, 70 kilogram python. The Pranchanukul Rescue Team in Ratchaburi eventually caught the python yesterday and released into the wild, away from villages. Ratchaburi is on the Burmese border, west of Bangkok.

The janitor at the Wat Aranyikawat Temple School was trying to figure where the animals were going and kept an eye out for a potential predator. Yesterday, he saw the large reptile slither into a pond. After he reported the sighting he tried to track down the snake and found a large cat being eaten by the giant snake. It was the school’s last cat. The janitor tried to intervene, but the snake tried to attack him.

He called the experts in instead.

SOURCE: Thai Residents

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Environment

Chemical ban now in effect, farmers say they have few alternatives

Caitlin Ashworth

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Chemical ban now in effect, farmers say they have few alternatives | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Caitlin Ashworth

Thailand’s ban on 2 toxic chemicals in herbicides and pesticides, is now in effect. While the move focuses on a sustainable, eco-friendly future, farmers say they are at a loss with no alternatives to keep bugs and weeds from killing their crops.

The 2 chemicals, paraquat and chlorpyrifos, have been shown to be toxic to humans in some studies, in sufficient quantities. Paraquat is used to kill weeds on palm, rubber, sugarcane, corn and cassava plantations while chlorpyrifos is used to kill worms on fruit. The two chemicals were added to the Type 4 list on Thailand’s Hazardous Substance Act last month and the ban started on June 1. A group of Thai farmers again tried to appeal the ban last week.

“Without paraquat, Thai farmers will face losses in key crops because there are no alternatives.”

Secretary-general of the Federation of Safe Agriculture Sukan Sungwanna says that around 10 million farming households in Thailand use the chemicals.

Thailand’s deputy chief for the Department of Agriculture says they’ve prepared 16 alternatives for substitutes for the chemicals, but declined to discuss the details.

Farmers are given 90 days to return unused chemicals back to sellers. Farmers caught storing or using the chemicals after June 1 face charges of malfeasance. Those who sell, produce, import or export the chemicals can also face up to 10 years in jail and an up to 1 million baht fine.

SOURCES: Reuters | Bangkok Post

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