Troops to rescue flooded people in Midnapur

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Midnapur/Haldia, Jun 18: Army and Air Force personnel were today deployed to evacuate lakhs of stranded people at Narayangarh, Sabong and Pingla after heavy rains and swelling river waters flooded vast areas of West Midnapur, official sources said.

The flush floods have already taken three lives, all Trinamool Congress leaders.

An unconfirmed report put the toll to eight.

The floods also disrupted rail and road traffic, snapped power and water supplies and caused food shortages to approximately a million of marooned people.

Troops from nearby Kalikunda base were called this afternoon to rescue people after the devastating floods, triggered by torrents and cyclonic storms from the Bay of Bengal, tormented for second day today in West and East Midnapur districts, West Midnapur district magistrate NS Nigam said.

About 90 centimeters of rainfail was recorded in two days, that has surpassed all previous records in these districts where some 27 cms rainfall was recorded in June last year.

Most of the areas in the districts remained inaccessible to the relief operations due to breaches of roads, uprooted trees and electric poles.

A flush flood at midnight yesterday carried away a vehicle from the NH-60 killing three people.

An Innova carrying seven Trinamool Congress leaders from Orissa was caught in the swelling water near Narayangarh. The four-wheeler instantly slipped off the road into a cannel connecting the Keleghai river. Local people had tried to save them by throwing a rope and managed to drag to safety to four only.

The three others including Goutam Basu, ex-private secretary of TMC supremmo Mamata Banerjee when she was railway minister, were swept away and are feared drown.

"They are still not traceable," West Midnapur district SP R Rajshekharan today said.

Five other people from Sabong and Narayangarh have been similarly met watery grave inthe Keleghai river, an unconfirmed report today said.

More than two lakhs people have been so far affected by the floods at Sabong, Narayangarh, Pingla, Patashpur, Gopiballavpur, Kharagpur of Midnapur blocks.

Twenty-four speed boats have been requisitioned as the NH-60 was cut off in seven places to release the water pressure by the local people preventing traffic with relief materials, the magistrate said.


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