Marcus Dam

KOLKATA: The overall flood situation in the Purbo and Paschim Medinipur districts of West Bengal was largely unchanged on Sunday with water receding in some places even as reports poured in of fresh areas being submerged elsewhere.

Nearly 2.7 million people have been affected in the floods that have ravaged the two districts and claimed 27 lives so far, according to estimates reaching the State Secretariat here. The death toll was higher, going by unconfirmed reports. “Some fresh low-lying areas in Purbo Medinipur district were submerged though accumulated water had receded considerably in Paschim Medinipur district,” Principal Secretary, Disaster Management Department, A. Purakayastha, told The Hindu.

Nearly 3.5 lakh people have been sheltered in around 1,450 relief camps in the two districts, he added. The Indian Air Force was asked by the district administration to assist in relief operations following a deterioration in the situation in Purbo Medinipur district, large parts of which remains submerged under flood waters.

Helicopters taking off from the Air Force base in Kaliakunda airdropped food supplies and pouches containing drinking water in parts of the district. Personnel belonging to four columns of the Army were engaged in rescue and relief work in the two districts, Defence spokesperson R.K. Das said.

The worst-hit areas in Purbo Medinipur district are Potashpur and Bhagwanpur where a large number of villages have been submerged rendering thousands homeless.

The civil defence was assisting the rescue and relief operations for which the State Government till Saturday had allocated Rs.17.5 crore, Minister for Disaster Management Mortaza Hossain said.