West Bengal flood toll rises to 16

June 20th, 2008 - 6:38 am ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, June 20 (IANS) The number of dead in the floods in West Bengal has risen to 16 with several rivers flowing above the danger level and inundating fresh areas affecting more than two million people. The worst affected West Midnapore district alone accounted for 15 deaths, District Magistrate N.S. Nigam said Thursday. One person died in East Midnapore district.

However, West Bengal Inspector General of police Raj Kanojia confirmed only eight deaths in West Midnapore, where about 1,60,000 people have been hit by the floods triggered by heavy monsoon rains. Thousands of houses have been destroyed and 35,000 people sheltered in relief camps, Nigam said.

“Many people are yet to be rescued as the administration has not managed to reach some remote areas of Sabong, Pingla, Narayangarh Keshpur areas,” he added.

The river Subarnarekha is in spate creating a flood-like situation in Dantan, Gopiballabhpur and Kesiari areas, he said.

Army and air force continued relief and rescue operations in East and West Midnapore after heavy monsoon rains lashed the state Tuesday and Wednesday.

About 200 army personnel have been working day and night to rescue the marooned and provide dry food and relief material like tarpaulin sheets, a defence spokesman said.

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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