Six killed in West Bengal storm

May 3rd, 2009 - 11:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, May 3 (IANS) A storm with wind speeds of 50 to 60 km per hour hit parts of northern and Gangetic West Bengal Sunday evening, causing six deaths. The storm, called norwester, also brought down the soaring mercury level.
“We’ve got confirmed reports that five persons died in Malda because of the norwester,” state Inspector General of Police (North Bengal) Kundan Lal Tamta told IANS.

A state police source said another person died in southern West Bengal’s Murshidabad district due to lightning strike.

Norwester is a type of storm that occurs in West Bengal late in the afternoon or evening at this point of the year, leading to a cooling effect.

The rain, followed by a cool breeze, brought some welcome respite for the millions from the hot and sultry weather in several southern and northern Bengal districts.

“Partly clouded sky and rainfall is expected in the next 24 hours. It will be accompanied by gusty winds and thunderstorms,” senior Kolkata regional meteorological official S.K Dutta told reporters here.

He said till 5 p.m. (Sunday) rainfall recorded by the department was 2.1 millimetres.

The sporadic spells of rain and stormy winds not only disrupted lives in the districts, but also affected the campaign trails of political leaders before the fourth-phase of general election in the state.

Owing to bad weather, Trinamul Congress chief Mamata Banerjee’s helicopter had to make a landing at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International (NSCBI) airport.

Later, she headed for Krishnanagar in Nadia district by road for election campaigning there.

The train movement in south section of the Eastern Railway’s Sealdah division was also disrupted because of a power cut that took place because of the Norwester.

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