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Storm strikes 270-year-old Great Banyan Tree in the Indian Botanic Garden, Shibpur

The cyclone Amphan has wrecked havoc in its wake in the states of West Bengal and Orissa as well as our neighboring nation Bangladesh, with many dead and thousands homeless. Stray animals, birds and trees have fared the worst brunt. Innumerable birds and animals, both urban strays as well as wild ones have been dead, injured or homeless due to flooding of habitat, uprooting and felling of trees and landscape.

The 270-year-old Great Banyan Tree in the Indian Botanic Garden in Shibpur, Howrah received a great battering, when the cyclone ravaged its old prop roots and left a huge gaping hole in the northwest corner of the tree, which stands over 4.67 acres. The original tree had earlier in the 19th century, got it’s main trunk damaged due to two cyclones in 1864 and 1867, leading to the amputation of the main trunk in 1925 to keep the rest of the tree healthy. Senior scientist, Mr. Basant Kumar Singh, reaching the garden after the cyclone passed to assess the damage said about the tree “It has almost lost its identity as the tree with the biggest canopy”. Other than the great Banyan Tree, the Botanical Garden has also suffered damages and uprooting of more than a thousand other trees, as Singh reported that “the only fully grown Kalpavriksha or Baobab tree (more than 100 years old) and the Mad Tree got uprooted” as well. The garden Director, Mr. Kanak Das lamented the loss and mentioned that “Not a single part of the garden seems to have been spared… Cyclone Amphan has totally devastated the botanic garden. A huge number of trees in almost all the divisions have either been uprooted or broken”.

 

As reported by The Telegraph

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