Flood fury in Bengal; respite for Manipur

Army extends helping hand to rain-hit people

Flood fury  in Bengal; respite for Manipur

The flood situation in West Bengal remained severe with around 13 lakh people displaced and more than a 1.3 people living in relief camps.

The Army has been called in to conduct relief and rescue operations in the worst-affected districts. 50 people have been reported dead.

Officials said that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee took an aerial survey of Hooghly and Howrah districts on Monday. State irrigation department officials said that thousands of hectares of farmlands have been damaged due to water from over-flowing rivers all over south Bengal, severely affecting the season’s aman crop. All rivers in the region are flowing above danger limit, they said.

Birbhum was worst-affected with 15 of 19 blocks under water with Burdwan coming a close second where 19 of 21 blocks are submerged. At Hooghly, another severely affected district, most damaged was Khanakul, where 150 metrer of dam on river Rupnarayan collapsed submerging vast areas. The two relief camps of Dhanyaghari and Pansiuli in the district also got submerged forcing the administration to relocate inmates. 

Meanwhile, rainfall receded from Sunday evening, bringing some semblance of normal life in Kolkata where several parts remained water-logged since Friday. The Indian Meteorological Department predicted further rainfall at isolated places of Gangetic West Bengal even on Monday, with warnings of rough sea along coastal Bengal. North Bengal, which usually witnesses more rain during the season, faced a peculiar drought-like situation with almost 12 per cent less rainfall.

In Manipur

With no heavy rainfall in the past 48 hours, the flood situation in Manipur has seen improvement with water level receding in all the rivers in the state.

Rescue operation continues for the third day on Monday in remote Joumol village in flood-hit Chandel district where 20 people were feared dead after a massive landslide almost buried the village on Saturday morning. More than 50,000 people are still affected in the floods.

According to NDRF sources, a multi-pronged rescue operation with Assam Rifles and district administration was launched to look for survivors from remote Joumol village.  While NDRF sources confirmed that four dead bodies have been recovered, six survivors were also found. At least eight people are still missing.

Deccan Herald has access to the first pictures of the ill-fated village which were released to local media in state capital Imphal. Except for a greenish tarpaulin roof, no other trace of the presence of a village could be seen at Joumol.

The state government has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each for the families of the people who were killed in floods and landslides.

The Manipur government lifted public curfew clamped in Imphal West and Imphal East district in view of the tense situation in the districts following the death of a student during a protest staged on July 8. This was done to speed up the flood relief, sources added.

Meanwhile, state government had started distributing relief material at relief camps open for the flood affected people.

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