South Asia cyclone death toll passes 100

At least 106 people died in the fiercest cyclone to hit Bangladesh and eastern India since 1999, officials said Friday as aerial footage revealed immense flooding in coastal areas.

Amphan, only the second "super cyclone" ever recorded over the Bay of Bengal, bulldozed houses, tore off roofs, uprooted trees and left millions without power when it hit late on Wednesday.

Mamata Banerjee, premier of West Bengal said Friday that 80 people died in the Indian state, while Bangladesh's toll rose to 26, health department spokesperson Ayesha Akhter said.

The total was much lower than the many thousands of fatalities recorded in previous cyclones, thanks to better forecasting and the timely evacuation of over three million people.

The United Nations in Geneva said Friday that the saltwater is expected to have "a severe impact on livelihoods for the next 2-3 years".

West Bengal's capital Kolkata was also badly hit, with 19 dead, parts of the old city flooded and hangar roofs at the airport caved in on top of aircraft.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday morning flew over the affected areas by helicopter and announced $132 million in government aid.

"The whole country is now with West Bengal at this critical time and we will jointly rebuild the areas ruined by the cyclone," Modi said.

The European Union also announced initial funding of 500,000 euros ($545,000) for India and 1.1 million euros for Bangladesh.


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