Army deployed in flood-hit south Bengal


Kolkata : The army has been called out to rescue people and reach succour in vast areas of southern West Bengal, flooded due to incessant rainfall for the last four days even as there was a let-up in the downpour in Kolkata.

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Official sources said Friday that the army has been deployed in the worst affected Hooghly district where a dam on river Mundeshwari has breached, inundating at least 25 villages in Khanakul and several areas of Arambagh.

The army was engaged in rescue operations in the region while large areas in East Midnapore's Nandigram, Khejuri, Bhagwanpur, Palaspur and Haldia remained submerged, affecting at least 17,000 houses. Ghatal in West Midnapore district was also badly affected.

At least 15 people have lost their lives in the floods and rainfall so far, police said.

A flood-like situation prevailed in Purulia district while many parts of Durgapur town in Burdwan district continued to be submerged.

The weather office here had forecast spells of heavy rain in West Bengal's Gangetic districts Friday, though Kolkata witnessed lighter showers since Thursday night.

G.C. Debnath, regional director of the meteorological department at Alipur, had Thursday said heavy to very heavy rains with stormy winds were likely to hit Gangetic West Bengal districts in the next couple of days.

A depression over the Bay of Bengal had moved 50 km north of Kolkata and remained stationary there, weathermen said Friday.

Railway officials suspended the 'toy train service' in Darjeeling district in the north Thursday due to frequent landslides that took place close to the Tindharia railway station Wednesday.

About 70 people have been sent to different places in south Bengal with relief boats and relief materials, Akhil Roy, West Bengal civil defence controller, told IANS.

Several trains in Howrah and Sealdah sections, especially of the Eastern Railway, were cancelled, railway officials said. All examinations of the Calcutta University and Rabindra Bharati University here have also been postponed.

While water subsided in most parts of Kolkata, some parts of the city continued to be waterlogged.