On Wednesday, one of the fiercest cyclones the Bay of Bengal has ever produced, Amphan, ripped through West Bengal and Bangladesh. Like it has for all of Bengal’s history, the storm first barrelled into the Sundarbans – a vast mangrove forest formed in the delta where the Ganga, Brahmaputra and Meghna river systems meet and then empty out into the sea.
Chandan Das points to the trees. “The leaves, can you see them? They have wilted, turned yellow,” he said. “The storm bought so much salt water spray from the sea that it even killed the trees it couldn’t knock down.”
The two bighas of farmland he owns in the Uttar Gopalnagar village on the eastern edges of the Sundarbans is now completely submerged by the sea water thrown up by the super cyclone.