Cyclones have become a regular occurrence in the Sundarbans. After the devastating effect of the Amphan cyclone last year, cyclone Yaas has resulted in more damage. Initial estimates by the West Bengal government suggest that one crore people have been affected by the cyclone, and over three lakh houses damaged.
Storm surges which coincided with the cyclone inundated thousands of acres of land with saline water from rivers and the sea. Record-level evacuation measures saved lives in Sundarbans, but islanders’ livelihood has been shattered. Cyclone Yaas may not have been as powerful as cyclone Amphan in terms of destruction, but saline water inundation of ponds and large stretches of farmland are much more devastating and has severe long-term effects.
Trucks, vans from far and wide came with relief materials as political parties, clubs, civil society groups, among several others joined hands to help the people of Sundarbans.