Rains wreak havoc in Midnapore; claim seven lives, trigger flood

© Provided by The Statesman Rains wreak havoc in Midnapore; claim seven lives, trigger flood

The deep depression that wreaked havoc in both East Midnapore and West Midnapore for the past two days has crossed the state but not before claiming at least seven lives, affecting more than 2 lakh people and destroying properties.

The depression resulted in torrential rains in all the blocks of the two districts. In the two days since Monday after the depression over the Bay of Bengal crossed the Odisha coast near Bhadrak, the two districts received an average of 155.9 mm rainfall triggering floods in urban and rural areas, an official said.

As per the reports from Vidyasagar University, the precipitation was 243.33 mm on 15 September which was just 12 mm less to create a new record. Other blocks in West and East Midnapore recorded rainfall in the range of 200 mm

to 300 mm, an agriculture department official said.

As per the preliminary reports from the district administrations, the calamity has affected over 2 lakh people in 1,200 villages and nine urban local bodies across the two districts. As many as 70,000 inhabitants in low-lying areas were evacuated to shelters for safety. Rashmi Kamal, district magistrate, West Midnapore said, “The calamity has destroyed crops and vegetables.

Till last night 30,000 people were in 700 shelter camps across the district. Several embankments of Keleghai and Kapaleswari rivers were breached. Several gram panchayats have been inundated due to heavy showers. Seven persons have been killed due to calamity in the district so far. We are collecting data from block levels to ascertain the total damages in the district.”

As water levels of most of the rivers rose due to heavy rainfall that pounded the twin districts for the last 36 hours, the state government has asked the district magistrates to evacuate people from low-lying areas. In West Midnapore’s Keshiari and Kharagpur, five people died as their homes collapsed on Tuesday night.

The deceased were identified on Wednesday as Arun Shant, Bijli Patar, Kohinoor Bibi, Rakhal Hembram and Ahallya Sai. In East Midnapore’s Ramnagar, Class VI student Madhumita Sahoo was purportedly bitten by a snake in her flooded home on Tuesday night.

She died on Wednesday morning at a Contai hospital. “Some 5,000 homes in West Midnapore and 700 homes in East Midnapore have been irreparably damaged in the downpour,” said an official.

In East Midnapore, district magistrate Purnendu Majhi said the rain had exacerbated the damage from Cyclone Yaas in certain areas. Heavy rains also inundated several parts of Midnapore town, in addition to fields and settlements in and around Chandrakona, Daspur and Ghatal.

The railway line near Godapiyashal village in West Midnapore’s Salboni submerged and partially disintegrated. The Salboni-Adra line was closed as a result. A car near the area was submerged in an overflowing pond. Bystanders

rescued the driver.

On Wednesday morning, locals reported a tornado in Narayangarh and Keshiary. District magistrate Rasmi Kamal informed that a tornado was seen in two locations in the district, but the damages were minimal

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