The European Union (EU) announced on Friday (May 22) that it will be offering an initial funding of €5,00,000 for India to deal with the aftermath of cyclone Amphan, which wreaked havoc in West Bengal and Odisha, and caused moderate damage in a few other coastal states.
The announcement was made by the European Union Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič.
He said in his statement, “Dozens of people have lost their lives as cyclone Amphan has come ashore southwest of Kolkata in eastern India and is making its way further north-east towards Bangladesh, causing further destruction and flooding.”
“The EU is determined to start helping people in need with no further delay and provides an initial funding of €500.000 for India and €1.100.000 to support the immediate response in Bangladesh,” he announced.
Lenarčič also said he was “saddened” to learn about the casualties due to the cyclone. “My thoughts are with the brave people who have been affected by tropical cyclone Amphan and especially those who have lost their loved ones. I am saddened to learn about fatalities in both India and Bangladesh, and the extent of destruction caused by strong winds, flooding and landslides, also damaging houses, infrastructure and livelihoods,” he said.
“We can only imagine the dire state our Indian and Bangladeshi friends are currently in. This storm hits at a time when social distancing remains essential to prevent a further spread of the coronavirus. A crisis on top of a crisis, so to say,” he added.
He further said the European Union would address “immediate needs” of populations affected by the cyclone, as well as “protect humanitarian aid and health workers” from their exposure to the epidemic.
“The EU’s Copernicus emergency management service supports these efforts with satellite maps to assess damages,” he claimed.
“During these troubled times, I am proud to see that first, responders are starting saving people’s lives and that further assessment of the situation on the ground has already started,” he added.
Cyclone Amphan has damaged property mainly across the states of West Bengal and Odisha, killing at least 72 people and leaving thousands homeless, or without proper power/water supply.
Heavy rains and fierce winds lashed the two states, uprooting trees and electric poles, destroying telecom infrastructure, and resulting in damage to several buildings.