Toll rises to 12; Army, Air Force continue rescue operations

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Kolkata, Jun 19 (UNI) With the recovery of one more body, the toll in the flood in two West Bengal districts today rose to 12 and about two million people remained affected even though Army and Air Force personnel continued rescue operations.

Official sources said with the rain-fed rivers, including the Keleghai and Subarnarekha, still swelling, about 60,000 people remained marooned in East and West Midnapore districts, about 150 km off Kolkata even as about 50,000 people had been taken to safer places.

The sources said the body of Ramesh Kanojia, who went missing along with two others after their car was caught in the swirling flood water on June 17, was recovered. However, two others, including Gautam Basu, former Secretary of Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, still remained untraced.

Defence spokesperson Group Captain R K Das said three columns of the Army had been deployed since yesterday in both the districts.

The Army had deployed about 200 personnel and the IAF helped with speed boats and helicopters.

The two districts had registered a record of 900 mm rainfall in the past four days and the situation has worsened due to the 3.50 lakh cusecs of water discharged from a reservoir in Jharkhand.


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