6,000 marooned in flood-hit Tripura

Vehicles make their way through a flooded street in Agartala in Tripura on Friday.Abhisek Saha

Vehicles make their way through a flooded street in Agartala in Tripura on Friday.Abhisek Saha  

Boats used to move people to makeshift camps; Chief Minister’s official residence also submerged

Floods due to incessant rain left nearly 6,000 people marooned across Tripura, mostly in west Tripura district, on Friday.

Agartala was among the worst hit places in the State, with unprecedented waterlogging in residential areas and roads. Official sources said two drowning incidents were reported near Agartala but details are awaited.

The National Disaster Response Force, Tripura State Rifles and Civil Defence Volunteers are engaged in rescue and relief operations. Boats are being used to rescue people and take them to makeshift camps.

“We have opened 26 camps in west Tripura district. Of these, 17 are within the municipal jurisdiction of Agartala,” said District Magistrate Milind Ramteke.

Meteorological Department official Dilip Chandra Saha said 82 mm of rain was recorded between 11.30 a.m. and 5.30 p.m. in the State on Friday. He asserted that 30 mm of downpour was enough to cause waterlogging in Agartala.

Rain-triggered flash floods even submerged the official residences of Chief Minister Manik Sarkar and other Ministers. Functioning of government offices was disrupted due to bad weather, even as educational institutions were declared closed. Plying of vehicles on the Assam-Agartala National Highway was disrupted and traffic was diverted at many places in the State.

Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Badal Choudhury and Urban Development Minister Manik Dey are constantly reviewing the flood situation. The State government has directed all District Magistrates and Sub-Divisional Magistrates to undertake rescue and relief operations.

All major rivers in Tripura are flowing above the danger mark. The condition of the Howrah along Agartala is extremely critical as water at 6 p.m. was measured at 11.2-metre, 1.2-metre higher than the danger mark.

Meanwhile, the Met Department on Friday has forecast rapid rise in water levels of rivers in Assam, Arunachal, Meghalaya, Sikkim, north Bengal, eastern UP and north Bihar for the next five days.

A release by the Union Ministry of Water Resources said heavy to very heavy rainfall with extremely heavy rainfall is very likely to occur in Assam, Arunachal and Meghalaya, sub-Himalayan West Bengal, Sikkim and Bhutan. Heavy to very heavy rainfall is likely in eastern Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Nepal, it added.

Due to this, the Brahmaputra and its tributaries are likely to rise and create low to high flood and unprecedented flood at a few locations.

(With inputs from PTI)

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