Rain pounds Kolkata, flight services hit

Rain pounds Kolkata, flight services hit
Heavy rain accompanied by gusty winds lashed the southern districts of West Bengal, including capital Kolkata, since Sunday night.

The downpour continued on Monday with the Met department forecasting more rain and strong winds till Tuesday.

The incessant rain and squally winds affected life in Kolkata as traffic on several major thoroughfares was badly affected due to waterlogging and uprooted trees.

High tide in the Hooghly accompanied by very strong currents worsened the woes of the civic officials. Several pumps used to flush out accumulated water failed to work as they got inundated, resulting in massive waterlogging at several areas of the metropolis.

Ferry services on the Hooghly between the twin cities of Kolkata and Howrah were also suspended.

A source in the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport (NSCBIA) said the inclement weather has forced authorities to divert 26 flights en route to Kolkata.

Airport director Atul Dikshit said, “Some domestic flights from the city were cancelled due to inclement weather and several inbound flights were diverted to different airports after they failed to land due to high gusts.

The situation will normalise once the weather conditions improve.” Air India said five of its flights to Kolkata could not land at the NSCBIA because of gusty winds and were diverted to other destinations.

Departures were also affected due to waterlogging on several parts of the runways, airport officials said.

“A depression was lying centred about 50 km southeast of Kolkata at 5.30 am today (Monday) and is likely to move west-northwestwards and intensifying further in the next 24 hours,” the Met department said.

A senior Met department official said, the depression is likely to bring rain across Gangetic West Bengal, north Odisha and east Jharkhand, with heavy to very heavy rainfall at isolated places till Wednesday noon.

The weather office said wind gusts reached 45-55 kmph since Sunday. Fishermen have been asked to stay away from seas. Suburban and long-distance train services of both Eastern and South Eastern Railways were slightly affected in the morning.

The state government said all officials of the irrigation, as well as the disaster management departments, have been put on extreme-high alert.
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