7 dead, Rs 1000 cr property damaged as rains lash Bengal

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Kolkata, Sep 23 (UNI) As many as seven people have died so far, while several others injured and thousands rendered homeless as incessant rains caused by a depression in the Bay of Bengal lashed several districts of the state.

IG(Organisation) Banibrata Basu told UNI, ''Two people each died of electrocution and wall collapse and one each in roof cave-in and of snake bite in South 24 Parganas district.'' The seventh death was reported from Dantan in West Midnapore.

The rain triggered floods in the twin districts of Midnapore.

One person was killed in the wall collapse in Dantan, according to district Magistrate N S Nigam.

To add to the people's woes a tornado lashed Bagnan in Howrah district causing widespread damage and at Hulopara in Basirhat area of North 24 Parganas district injuring ten people. A motor-driven country boat also capsized in the Bidyadhari river near Hulopara but no loss of life was reported, North 24 Parganas district Magistrate Prabhat Mishra said.

The damage in East and West Midnapore districts alone was pegged at Rs 1000 crore, official reports said. The extent of devastation in Bagnan, where over 500 houses were damaged, was yet to be worked out. The tornado swept across ten villages. In Basirhat over 80 houses were destroyed.

East Midnapore reported extensive damage to crop lands, floriculture and fish cultivation besides houses, district official Niranjan Sihi said, adding 1,000 houses in Khejuri were destroyed.

Most of the rivers in the two districts of Midnapore, including Subarnarekha, Rupnarayan, Kansabati, Keleghai and Silaboti, had surpassed the danger level.

''The condition in Egra, Pataspur and Sabong is the worst as the rising Keleghai has breached its embankments and entered fields and houses,'' district officials said.

A large number of tourists in Digha were seen returning this morning due to high waves and inclement weather. An alert was sounded in and around Digha asking fishermen not to venture into deep sea, Contai SDO Namita Maity said.

Meanwhile, 15 fishermen, who were missing since the past couple of days, returned to Digha this morning from Orissa where they had taken shelter, Ms Maity added.

A report from Purulia said train and bus services in Purulia, Bankura and Burdwan districts were disrupted due to last night's storm and incessant rains.

The 464 Shiromani passenger train between Adra and Howrah was stopped at Garbeta at Peardobha station of Adra division in South Eastern Railway.

Kolkatans woke up to a stormy weather. Rains continued to pound the city since last night resulting in water-logged streets in many areas. Tram services were withdrawn from some places as the tracks went under water.

The Alipore Met office too did not bring happy tidings as it predicted fairly widespread rains with isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall over Gangetic West Bengal during the next 24 hours.

''Yesterday's well marked low pressure over West Central Bay and adjoining North West Bay of Bengal off the Orissa coast has concentrated into a depression,'' Met officials said. It is likely to move in a north westerly direction and hence is expected to move away from West Bengal to Chhattisgarh and East Madhya Pradesh during next 48 hours.

About 104.3 mm rainfall was recorded in the city over the past 24 hours and is expected to rise further, the officials informed.

The day's maximum temperature dipped four degrees below normal, being recorded at 28.2 degrees Celsius, while the minimum rose to 24.6 degrees Celsius, one degree below normal.

UNI

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