Rains disrupt life in Bengal, toll rose to 13, one injured in Bihar

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Kolkata/Patna, Sep 24 (UNI) Torrential rains inundated all low lying areas of Kolkata today, disrupting traffic, power supply, and train services as weather-related toll rose to 13 so far while at least one school student sustained injuries as unabated rain accompanied by strong gail hit most parts of Bihar and Jharkhand since yesterday disrupting normal life.

At least five people, including a woman, were electrocuted in different parts of North 24 Parganas during the past 48 hours, while one youth was electrocuted at Girish Park in Kolkata.

Yesterday's depression over interior Orissa moved northwestward and lay centred over north Chhattisgarh, about 50 km northwest of Ambikapur.

Meanwhile, the local Met office said the depression, which had presently settled over Bihar and Jharkhand, was responsible for the widespread rain and added that as a result, the overall temparature in the city and its adjoining areas had reduced substantiually forcing people to remain indoors.

Large areas of Kolkata went under water as the weather worsened under the influence of a storm in the South China sea that boosted the low pressure formed in the Bay of Bengal, Meteorological office said.

Trees uprooted, houses collapsed and electrocution by snapped live wires came pouring since yesterday across south Bengal while in Bihar unabated rain and strong wind had also uprooted a number of trees and electrict posts in different parts of the city severely disrupting power supply in Patna and its neighbouring areas. As a result, people were forced to face long and frequent bouts of power cuts in many areas..

Most schools remained closed, attedance in offices was thin, many business establishments downed their shutters and train services were badly affected by the storms and torrents.

Fifteen hours after a tornado swept over Bagnan and Minakha, a cyclonic storm was raging in major parts of south Bengal.

Heavy rainfall occurred in most parts of Gangetic West Bengal, including 19 cm in Canning, 88-161 mm in Kolkata, Sriniketan 84 mm, Krishnagar 76 mm, Diamond Harbour 61.6 mm.

At least 500 mud houses in Purulia and 200 in Bankura district were badly damaged. A bridge in Purulia town collapsed due to the heavy rains. Some areas in Burdwan district werein danger of subsidence.

A Midnapur report said rising Haldi, Rupnarayan and Keleghai brought disaster to Nandigram, Pataspur, Egra, Mahisadal and Digha with thousands of people marooned in remote areas, District Magistrate of East Midnapur Anup Agarwal said.

Some 2000 marooned people had been evacuated from these areas and kept in two shelters in Nandigram. More evacuation was needed at night, he added.

Gusty wind and high waves flooded the foreshore road in Digha with almost all the tourist evacuating the place. Microphone announcement were being arranged by Digha police asking local people not to go near the sea. A total number of 50,000 people were flood affected at this moment, according to a preliminary estimate, Mr Agarwal said.

Predicting more showers during the next 24 hours, the Met office in the Bihar capital said it has so far recorded 10.9 cm rainfall with the temparature varying between 28 degrees and 23.6 degrees celcius, about four degrees below normal. The maximum relative humidity was pegged at 95 per cent this morning, the sources added.


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