Cyclone Amphan: West Bengal seeks Indian army’s support

May 23 (UPI) — India’s West Bengal state government on Saturday sought the Indian army’s aid to restore essential services destroyed by Cyclone Amphan, which killed dozens.

Along with the army, the Home Department announced in a series of tweets that it also sought help from railways and the port sector, and manpower and equipment from private entities.

The Home Department also said the Public Health Engineering Department has been charged with supplying water pouches in crisis areas while drinking water and drainage infrastructure is being restored.

The power and water crisis had sparked protests in several parts of West Bengal’s capital, Kolkata, prior to the announcement. The cyclone — made landfall between Digha, West Bengal, and Bangladesh’s Hatia islands Wednesday as the equivalent of a Category 3 hurricane — has killed 86 people in the West Bengal state alone. In total, the storm killed more than 100 in India and Bangladesh.

It has also left millions of people homeless.

“It is believed that around 10 million people in Bangladesh are impacted by the cyclone, with half a million families potentially having lost their homes,” U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters.

Over 3 million in both countries remain in shelters, ReliefWeb reported Friday.

Most areas were without electricity and blocked roads limited response, the humanitarian situation report said. In Cox’s Bazar, home to the world’s largest refugee settlement, flooding and landslides have caused damage to 300 shelters, blocked drains and damaged stairs, latrines and bridges.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has urged patience as the administration works on restoration.