Cyclone Amphan Must be Declared 'National Calamity': 22 Opposition Parties Pass Joint Resolution in Virtual Meeting
Congress President Sonia Gandhi (Photo Credits: ANI)

New Delhi, May 22: A joint resolution was passed by 22 Opposition parties on Friday demanding the central  government to declare cyclone Amphan a "national calamity". The resolution was supported by all political parties that attended the virtual meeting called by Congress president Sonia Gandhi. The inter-party dialogue was attended by most prominent parties of the Opposition bloc including the Trinamool Congress and the Left Front. Cyclone Amphan: PM Narendra Modi Announces Rs 2 Lakh Ex-Gratia Each to Kin of Deceased, Rs 50,000 Each to People Injured in West Bengal.

"Opposition parties urge the central government to immediately declare cyclone Amphan as a national calamity and substantially help the states in facing the impact of this disaster," said the resolution passed in the virtual meeting of 22 opposition parties.

The devastating cyclone, which was stated to be the most severe since 1999, has claimed 80 lives so far in the state of West Bengal. Severe damage to properties has also been reported in neighbouring Odisha.

Update by ANI

Participants of The Joint Meeting

The Centre can declare a natural or man-made disaster as a "national calamity" under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, if it has led to a catastrophic damage to lives and properties. Once a calamity is declared so, additional financial and logistical assistance from the Centre flows to the affected states.

The cyclone had struck the coast of West Bengal and neighbouring Bangladesh on Wednesday. The impact could still be felt as rainfall and heavy winds continue in the coastal belt of Bengal and Odisha.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited West Bengal and Odisha today for an aerial survey of the region affected by cyclone Amphan. In his joint press conference with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Modi announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh to the kin of deceased and Rs 50,000 to the injured victims.