View Full Version : Cyclone kills 21 in West Bengal

Mohammad Shahjahan
05-26-2009, 04:43 AM
At least 21 people died Monday when Cyclone Aila swept through the coastal Indian state of West Bengal, authorities said.
The Press Trust of India said officials confirmed 14 of the fatalities occurred in the South 24 Parganas district, followed by five in the metropolis and one each in Bankura and Howrah districts. There were unofficial reports that the death toll had reached 26, PTI said.
Forecasters said the cyclone, which had produced winds up to 70 mph, was expected to weaken but rains were expected to continue through Tuesday.
Debabrata Pal, disaster management joint-secretary for West Bengal state, said in addition to the 21 confirmed dead, Cyclone Aila was responsible for an unspecified amount of crops and property damage, CNN reported.
Flights departing and arriving at the NSC Bose International Airport in Kolkata were suspended, airport authorities said.
Deputy Commissioner Javed Shamim told Indo-Asian News Service "boats have been kept ready for emergency evacuation" of people from low-lying areas of the city.