Monday, May 25, 2009
A cyclone struck coastal areas of Bangladesh and India, causing flooding. At least seventeen people have been killed as a result of the storm, and thousands have been left homeless.
Winds reaching 100 kilometres per hour in Kolkata, the capital of India's West Bengal province, have uprooted trees and destroyed communication lines.
"The situation is very grave, countless families have been displaced, especially in the Sundarbans," said Kanti Ganguly, the state minister of the Sundarbans region of Western Bengal.
Airport operations in Kolkata were stopped as a result of the inclement weather; several Kolkata-bound flights were diverted elsewhere, and flights scheduled to depart were cancelled.
The India Meteorological Department has said that the cyclone will likely subside within 24 hours. “We expect the wind speed to peak in the next 24 hours. This isn’t an unusually strong cyclone and we don’t expect damage to be widespread,” said the department's director general, Ajith Tyagi.
== Sources ==
"Deaths in Bay of Bengal cyclone" — Al Jazeera, May 25, 2009
Romita Datta. "18 killed as cyclone Aila hits West Bengal coast" — livemint.com, May 25, 2009