Heavy rainfall continued in several parts of West Bengal, including Kolkata, on Friday morning, adding to the state’s woes at a time several parts of districts such as Purba and Paschim Bardhaman, Birbhum, Paschim Medinipur, Hooghly, Howrah and South 24 Parganas are inundated. The government, however, said it was expecting the “situation to improve” if there is “no rainfall tonight or tomorrow”.
Several areas in south Bengal and Bardhaman have been submerged since last week, when heavy rains coupled with the discharge of water from Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) dams causeda flood-like situation. Four major rivers — Shilabati, Dwarakeswar, Damodar and Rupnarayan — are flowing above the danger level. The DVC has not released water from dams in 24 hours.
State officials said the toll in the floods remained 23. Of them, six people died in wall collapses, seven drowned, six died in lightning strikes, two people were electrocuted to death, and two died in landslides.
“There is no report of any new casualties. We are trying hard to ensure that there is an adequate supply of food, medicines, and clothes for people at the relief camps. We are expecting the situation to improve in case there’s no rainfall tonight or tomorrow and the DVC stops releasing water,” said a senior government official.
At present, there are more than 40,000 people in 365 relief camps in the state. The flood-like situation has badly affected agricultural activity, with sources in the agriculture department saying that at least four lakh hectares of farmland in six districts are inundated. According to them, farmers will suffer severe losses if the water does not subside in the next two to three days.
Meanwhile, rains on Friday morning caused waterlogging in several parts of Kolkata and North 24 Parganas such as Biren Roy Road, James Long Sarani, Janakalyan Road, ML Gupta Road near Palki Bari, ML Gupta Road, VIP Road, Baguiati, Kestopur, Belgachia, and Kamarhati. The rain caused traffic congestion in the city during office hours as many roads remained submerged.
The weather department had predicted this intense spell of thunderstorm and rain two days ago. A cyclonic system that caused this rainfall has shifted towards Bangladesh, according to the Alipore Meteorological Department. The Met department added that there was a possibility of heavy rains in North Bengal from Monday.
“For the next 24 hours, the sky will be generally cloudy with one or two spells of rain or thundershowers. Maximum and Minimum Temperature will be around 34°C & 28°C respectively,” said the weather department.