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Cyclone leaves coastal villages in eastern India, Bangladesh cut off by tidal surges

Berita 24 English -  Hundreds of thousands of villagers along eastern India's low-lying coast were stranded Thursday by floodwaters foll...


Berita 24 English - 
Hundreds of thousands of villagers along eastern India's low-lying coast were stranded Thursday by floodwaters following a powerful cyclone that killed at least five people, officials in both countries said.

Cyclone Yaas ripped through the eastern Indian state of Odisha on Wednesday, whipping up tidal surges in neighbouring West Bengal and Bangladesh, even though they were not directly in its path.

According to state Chief Secretary Suresh Mahapatra, relief workers delivered food and water to people stranded in 124 villages across Odisha. In the state, at least two people had died.

The storm, India's second in a week, comes as the country struggles to contain a deadly second wave of coronavirus infections that has strained the healthcare system to breaking point.

Around 500,000 people were sheltered in relief camps in West Bengal, and officials said they had taken precautions to avoid the virus spreading.

"Quarantine rooms are available at flood shelters for those exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, sore throat, and body ache," Dr Indranil Bargi, a medical officer in the Gosaba area, told Reuters.

He said that individuals are being tested for coronavirus using the rapid antigen test, and those who test positive will be relocated to safe housing units set up in government offices and schools.

Bangladeshi authorities reported flooding of villages as a result of heavy rains and tidal surges. According to a Disaster Management Agency official, three people were killed, two by drowning and one by being struck by a tree.

"I have never witnessed a tidal surge reach this magnitude. It inundated numerous villages and swept away homes. Numerous individuals are stranded, "Humayun Kabir, a district official in Khulna's coastal district, stated.

Yaas was downgraded to a deep depression on Thursday as it moved inland over the Indian state of Jharkhand.

Elsewhere on the subcontinent, Nepal was bracing for floods in the plains and landslides in the hills, as the country has been pounded by heavy rains since Wednesday, which was forecast to continue through Saturday.

Residents living along riverbanks should remain vigilant, and climbers should return from the mountains, according to a statement from Nepal's National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority.

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