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Operations resume at Kolkata airport after Cyclone Amphan left runway inundated

The first flight, a Russian chartered plane landed at 2.31 pm for the evacuation of stranded Russian nationals.

The flight operations resumed at the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International (NSCBI) Airport in Kolkata on Thursday noon after Cyclone Amphan had completely left the runway inundated. The operations resumed from 12 noon on Thursday after the cyclone ravaged the airport at a wind speed of 130 kmph.

The first flight, a Russian chartered plane landed at 2.31 pm for the evacuation of stranded Russian nationals. The first departure was a SpiceJet cargo flight headed for Delhi. The effective planning and teamwork have minimised the effects of the cyclone at the airport.

Taking to micro-blogging site Twitter, the official page of Kolkata Airport said, “Kolkata Airport springs back to today after severe Cyclon Amphan ravaged at a wind speed of 130kmph. The first flight, a Russian chartered plane landed at 1431 hrs for the evacuation of stranded Russian nationals. The first departure was SpiceJet cargo flight for Delhi.”

“Operations resume at Kolkata Airport after severe cyclonic storm Amphan. Effective planning and teamwork has minimised the effects of Cyclone at Kolkata Airport and our teams are working round the clock to ensure uninterrupted services,” it added.

A day after Amphan, one of the most powerful cyclones in over a decade, hit West Bengal, the Kolkata airport suffered major damages. The runway was completely inundated with floodwater. An Air India hangar collapsed, while floodwaters left one Air India aircraft damaged.

The cyclone has killed at least 72 people in West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Thursday. Out of the total 72 deaths, 15 of them were from Kolkata, the Chief Minister said. ”72 people have died in West Bengal so far. I have never seen such a disaster before. I will ask PM Modi to visit the state and see the situation,” West Bengal Chief Minister said. She also announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh for those killed in the state due to Cyclone Amphan.

The cyclonic system has since passed to Bangladesh leaving a trail of destruction in India, but heavy rains are expected over North Bengal all day on Thursday. Clear skies can be seen from Friday, an official from Alipore Meteorological Department said. Meanwhile, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba on Thursday reviewed the situation at cyclone-affected areas of Odisha and West Bengal with the states and central agencies concerned.

West Bengal informed the secretary that there were major damages to agricultural lands, power and telecommunication facilities in cyclone-affected areas of the state. While Odisha informed that damages have been mainly limited to the loss of agriculture.

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