One killed, thousands of houses washed away in Bengal rains

June 21st, 2011 - 10:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, June 21 (IANS) One man was killed and more than six lakh people affected as heavy rains inundated parts of ten districts in West Bengal, a minister said Tuesday.

“Ten districts have been inundated by heavy rains affecting about 6.7 lakh people. The deluge washed away the already weakened river embankments sweeping away 17,000 homes and partly damaging over one lakh houses,” said Disaster Management Minister Javed Ahmad Khan.

The 10 districts include Bankura, Birbhum, West and East Midnapore, Burdwan and Hooghly. West Midnapore was the worst hit with rivers like Kangshabati, Keleghai and Shilabati flowing above the danger mark.

The swelling Kangshabati breached embankments at Ghatal, Khirpai and Daspur in West Midnapore and Panskura, Moyna and Tamluk in East Midnapore.

The problem has been compounded with the Damodar Valley Corporation releasing 45,000 cusecs of water over the past 24 hours since Tuesday.

The met office forecast fairly widespread rain or thundershowers in the northern districts of Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and Coochbehar as also Gangetic West Bengal.

Khan also said relief and rescue work was in full swing and arrangements were being made on war footing to combat the situation.

Tarpaulin sheets, halogen tablets and dry food were being rushed to the affected areas.

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