Bengal flood toll rises to nine

June 19th, 2008 - 6:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, June 19 (IANS) The death toll in the floods in West Bengal rose to nine Thursday. The surging waters, triggered by heavy monsoon rains, have left 1.6 million people marooned in the state and hit train services to neighbouring Orissa. The army and air force have been carrying on rescue and relief operations after heavy monsoon rains lashed the state Tuesday and Wednesday. West and East Midnapore are the worst affected districts.

“Four more deaths have been reported since Wednesday night, three of them in West Midnapore and the other one in the East Midnapore,” Inspector General of police (Law and Order) Raj Kanojia told IANS. The toll was five Wednesday.

Army and air force personnel, deployed to assist the civil administration in the two districts, carried out rescue operations and supplied relief to flood victims in Narayangarh, Belda and Sabang areas of West Midnapore and a part of East Midnapore, a defence spokesman said in Kolkata.

Since Wednesday, 80 people have been rescued by air force speedboats.

Two-hundred army personnel have been working day and night to rescue the marooned and provide dry food and relief material like tarpaulin sheets and Bengal flood toll rises to nine blankets to the affected.

South Eastern Railway officials said long-distance train services between West Bengal and Orissa would be out of operation for three days due to water-logging on the tracks.

“Train services between Howrah and various destinations of Orissa cannot be resumed for another three days. The lines are totally marooned,” the officials said.

Trains to other parts of the country ran as scheduled Thursday though at a slower pace in the Howrah-Kharagpur section due to damage to the tracks caused by the floods.

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