Toll in heavy downpour in Bengal shoots up to 22

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Kolkata, Sep 25 (UNI) The toll in the heavy rains that lashed south Bengal for the past three days shot up to 22 today with vast areas of Kolkata and the adjoining places still remaining under water.

Police said seven people, including two children, were killed in house collapse in Birbhum district since yesterday, while a youth was electrocuted by a snapped live wire at Ultadanga on the city's northern fringe today.

In Birbhum, three persons each died in Dubrajpur and Bolpur and one in Rampurhat after the mud houses they used to live caved in following incessant rains.

Official reports said more than 1,000 mud houses had been damaged in the district, where the rain-fed Ajay and Mayurakshi rivers were flowing above the danger mark.

Powered by a storm over the South China sea, a low pressure formed over the Bay of Bengal near Orissa, also wreaked havoc in Kolkata and the adjoining North and South 24 Parganas districts as incessant rains and galic wind levelled hundreds of huts, uprooted trees, twisted lamp posts and damaged crops.

The rain swamped large areas of Kolkata, Howrah and North and South 24 Parganas districts, while reports of death following house collapse and electrocution continued to pour in from different areas since Sunday last.

At least 50,000 people had been badly affected at Bongaon sub-division of North 24 Parganas district with more than 6000 houses either totally or partly damaged.

An official source said 51 relief camps had been opened at different places to evacuate 1322 families, who were either marooned or lost their shelters as 800 mud houses, mostly in rural areas collapsed.

Even as the Met office spotted the low pressure moving away towards Chhattisgarh and the Sun peeped up this morning for the first time over the past 72 hours, suburban train services continued to be badly affected with the rain water overtopping railway tracks both in Howrah and Sealdah divisions of Eastern Railway.

Following hours of respite in the downpour since this morning, water started receding in some areas of Kolkata even though vast areas of Behala, Tollygunge, Jadavpur, Park Circus, Camac Street, Park Street, Sealdah, College Street, Amherst Street, Dum Dum and Salt Lake remained submerged.


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