Floods claim 14 lives in West Bengal

Hooghly and Howrah districts declared flood-hit

The continuous heavy rainfall for the past one week that submerged vast swathes of several districts, resulted in breaches in embankments of various rivers and caused a “flood-like situation” in a couple of districts has claimed 14 lives so far, according to the West Bengal government on Saturday.

Irrigation and Waterways Minister Manas Bhunia said 16 lakh people in 15 districts had been affected and declared the Hooghly and the Howrah districts flood-hit. The second battalion of the National Disaster Response has been alerted for moving at short notice

Eight persons died due to house or wall collapse, three of snake bite, two drowned and one was electrocuted.

Fresh threat

Making matters worse, the release of huge quantities of water by the Damodar Valley Corporation from its reservoirs and the state's Kangsabati reservoir is likely to flood fresh areas of the Hooghly and Howrah districts by Sunday.

While 1,47,000 cusecs was released from the Durgapur barrage, 40,000 cusecs was released from the Kangsabati barrage, the quantity could increase further.

Dr. Bhunia said the administrations of Paschim Medinipur, Purba Medinipur and Bankura districts had been put on high alert.

Several low-lying areas within the city remained water-logged through the day as constant rain disrupted normal life.

Depression shifts

Meanwhile, the Alipore Meteorological Office said the depression, which caused incessant heavy spells of shower, had shifted to Jharkhand during the day.

“As a result, the city and the other south Bengal districts can expect light to medium rainfall in the next 24 hours. The north Bengal districts of Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar, though, can expect very heavy showers in the next 48 hours since the depression is moving northwardly,” G.C. Debnath, director of Alipore Meteorological Office, said.

Breaches in embankment of the Brahmani river in Birbhum district and Ichhamati river in North 24 Parganas district were also reported during the day.

“Our department has undertaken immediate repair of the breaches. We have asked the district administrations to monitor the situation and inform us every half-hour,” Dr. Bhunia said.

Disaster Management Minister Javed Khan said 100 relief camps were opened in the affected districts where about 14,000 people had taken shelter.

Rice distributed

Rice and tarpaulin sheets were being distributed to the distressed and mobile water treatment plants and medical camps set up in the affected districts.

Several State ministers visited the affected areas on the day. While Commerce and Industries Minister Partha Chatterjee visited the Hooghly district, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee visited the Howrah district on Friday.

  • District administrations of Paschim Medinipur, Purba Medinipur and Bankura put on high alert
  • 100 relief camps opened in the affected districts sheltering about 14,000 people

Recommended for you