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A Survey on Disaster: Understanding the After-effects of Super-cyclone Amphan and Helping Hand of Social Media

by   Soham Poddar, et al.

The super-cyclonic storm "Amphan" hit Eastern India, specifically the state of West Bengal, Odisha and parts of Bangladesh in May 2020, and caused severe damage to the regions. In this study, we aim to understand the self-reported effects of this natural disaster on residents of the state of West Bengal. To that end, we conducted an online survey to understand the effects of the cyclone. In total, 201 participants (spanning five districts) from the worst-affected state of West Bengal participated in the survey. This report describes our findings from the survey, with respect to the damages caused by the cyclone, how it affected the population in various districts of West Bengal, and how prepared the authorities were in responding to the disaster. We found that the participants were most adversely affected in this disaster due to disruption of services like electricity, phone and internet (as opposed to uprooting of trees and water-logging). Furthermore, we found that receiving responses to Amphan-related queries is highly positively correlated with the favorable perception of people about preparedness of authorities. Additionally, we study the usage of online social media by the affected population in the days immediately after the disaster. Our results strongly suggest how social media platforms can help authorities to better prepare for future disasters. In summary, our study analyzes self-reported data collected from grassroots, and brings out several key insights that can help authorities deal better with disaster events in future.


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