Flood situation in south Bengal turned grim on Saturday with 1.19 lakh people taking shelter in relief camps in 12 districts, even as the forecast shows more heavy rains in the next two days.
“So far 966 relief camps have been set up sheltering 1.19 lakh affected people,” West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee told newspersons here. “We have opened 124 medical camps,” she said.
Speaking about the flood situation in the State after a review meeting, the Chief Minister said 12 districts in the Gangetic plains were affected, while the number of rain or flood related deaths did not increase and the toll stood at 39.
Ms. Banerjee then left for Udaynarayanpur in Howrah district, which has been badly affected, to see the flood situation for herself. She is expected to visit more flood affected areas soon, officials said.
They said that so far 1.8 lakh houses have been damaged and crop was lost in over 2.10 lakh hectares due to the floods.
State Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim went to Arambagh in Hooghly district during the day and oversaw relief arrangements for the affected people. Other Ministers have also been asked to visit flood affected areas to coordinate relief operations.
Ms. Banerjee said her government would try to support the flood-affected people with its own resources as she was not hopeful about much help from the Centre.
“Did the Centre send any help for Darjeeling disaster [landslides last month]?” an annoyed Ms. Banerjee shot back when reporters asked her whether Centre’s assistance was sought.
Flooding of farmland, towns and villages were reported from several districts of South Bengal like Howrah, Hooghly, Burdwan, Bankura, South 24 Parganas and East Midnapore with heavy downpour occurring in Gangetic West Bengal in the last few days.
Heavy rainfall also lashed Kolkata and adjoining areas since Friday and disrupted normal life, throwing road and rail traffic out of gear since early this morning as most parts of the city were submerged.
The MeT department recorded 143.2 mm rainfall in the last 24 hours till 5.30 pm today and has forecast heavy to very heavy rains in Gangetic West Bengal for another two days.
Odisha Villages Marooned
Though the flood situation in Odisha improved significantly, the inflow of rain water from the neighbouring West Bengal today caused marooning of 10 more villages in the bordering Balasore district even as the toll in the current spell of flood is five, officials said.
“All the major rivers in the State are flowing below the danger level. However, inflow of rain water from West Bengal, where heavy rainfall occurred under the effect of cyclonic system Komen, has caused marooning of some more villages in Balasore district,” Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) G.V.V. Sarma said.
As per reports received from the Collectors of the concerned districts, the SRC said about 4.79 lakh people of 597 villages under 15 Blocks and one ULB in five districts namely Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Jajpur, Bhardak and Balasore have been affected by the current spell of flood.
Replying to a question, the SRC said so far five persons have died in the current spell of floods in the State. The death cases came from Balasore (2), one each from Mayurbhaj, Jajpur and Keonjhar. While four persons died of drowning, one succumbed to snake bite during the floods, Mr. Sarma said.
While the number of villages marooned in recent floods in Balasore district was 10 till Friday, it increased to 20.
“Marooned villages of Balsore district as on date have thus increased to 20 (Jaleswar Block—15 and Bhogarai Block—5),” the SRC said adding that water from all other villages which were earlier marooned has been cleared by now.
Preliminary estimate indicate that dwelling houses of about 664 families have been affected in Jajpur district, the SRC said adding that assessment of damage to private houses in other districts was under assessment. As per report of the Engineer-in-Chief, Rural Water Supply & Sanitation (RWSS), 2937 tube wells and 1 piper water supply system have been affected due to flood, he said.
As many as 32 groups have been engaged for repair/ disinfection of tube wells. Bags of bleaching powder (25kg each) have been provided for disinfection. Thousands of water pouches have been distributed in the flood affected areas.
20 Killed In Manipur Landslide
Twenty people were killed in a landslide triggered by heavy incessant rain at Zoumoal village in Manipur’s Chandel district on Saturday, police said.
Superintendent of Police of Chandel district Herojit Singh said 20 people were killed in the landslide at the village under Khangbarol sub-division of the district. The SP said that a police team has been sent to the spot which is located near Indo-Myanmar border.