Floods kill at least 160 across India, situation grim in Bengal

  • HT Correspondents, Hindustan Times, Kolkata/Bhubaneswar/Imphal/Jaipur
  • Updated: Aug 03, 2015 19:43 IST

Flooding has brought chaos to several Indian states killing at least 160 people and affecting lakhs after heavy rainfall lashed West Bengal, Odisha, Manipur, Rajasthan and Gujarat, officials said on Monday.

The death toll could rise as many people are still missing even as personnel of the Indian Army are out in several areas for rescue and relief efforts, officials added.

The situation remained grim in West Bengal's southern districts after fresh water was released from different barrages, compounding the woes of over 37 lakh people in 12 affected districts.

"Flood situation in the state still remains a matter of concern after fresh water was released from different barrages since last (Sunday) night. High tides worsened the situation," state irrigation minister Rajib Banerjee told PTI.

Among others, the Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) has released 90,000 cusecs of water since midnight on Sunday, the minister added.

The death toll due to the floods remained at 48 while 2.14 lakh people were sheltered in 1,537 relief camps in the 12 districts. According to the disaster management department's report, 47 municipalities across the state have been affected by floods.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who stayed at state secretariat Nabanna overnight to personally monitor the flood situation, would visit Habra and Ashoknagar areas of North 24 Parganas to monitor the relief and rescue operations. Besides, Banerjee four of her cabinet ministers would also visit other affected districts to review the situation.

The government has issued an appeal to all the affected in the districts to move to their nearest relief camp before the situation worsens.

The CM had on Sunday day held a meeting with senior officials regarding the situation and has set up a control room at the state secretariat to keep an eye on the problem.

Union home minister Rajnath Singh had spoken to her over phone about the flood situation in the state.

In Odisha, nearly five lakh people in five northern districts have been affected by flood caused by heavy rain in neighbouring West Bengal. So far, five persons have lost their lives due to flood in the districts like Balasore, Bhadrak, Jajpur, Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar.

Official estimates said people in around 600 villages in 15 blocks of the districts were affected by flood. At least 20 villages of Jaleswar and Bhogarai blocks of Balasore, which share border win West Bengal, have been worst affected with the villagers still marooned in flood water for the last five days.

"Raining has stopped in Odisha, but the rivers have been deluged by rain water inflow from West Bengal," Odisha's deputy relief commissioner PR Mohapatra said.

Mohapatra added that flood is completely under control as people have been evacuated to safer areas by personnel by National Disaster Response Force and Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force. Relief materials like dry food, polythene sheets drinking water pouches and medicines have been sent to the affected villages, he said.

In Manipur, 23 people have died and thousands of people, rendered homeless by the flood, have taken shelter in safe places and relief camps organised locally.

Twenty people were killed in a single village swept away by a landslide in Chandel district on the Myanmar border. Rescuers reached the crushed village, 80 km from state capital Imphal, after being flown by helicopter and then trekking across blocked roads.

Three persons, one each from Chandel, Thoubal and Churachandpur districts drowned in last four days, police said.

Dozens of houses were destroyed in Hollenjang, Wayang and Tuitung villages and several areas in and around Imphal were flooded as rivers flowed above the danger mark.

A large portion of Thoubal, Bishnupur, Imphal West, Chandel, Imphal East and Churachandpur districts have come under flood waters in Manipur, an irrigation and flood control department (IFCD) official said. There was flood water in Imphal West district areas as well as Uripok, Sagolband, Lamphel, some portion of Kwairamban Bazar on Sunday, sources at IFCD said.

Six bridges constructed on the Chakpi river were washed away by turbulent water in Manipur's Chandel district.

Most of the agricultural crops, including paddy were damaged due to flood water in six districts of Manipur, PTI said quoting sources in the state agriculture department.

However, the water level on all major rivers in Manipur is receding as rains stopped.

In Rajasthan, the death toll in over a week of heavy rainfall and floods has reached to 28.

The state experienced excessive rainfall in most of its districts.The situation is "grim" particularly in districts of Jalore, Jhalawar, Baran, Sirohi, Barmer and Dungarpur, officials said. Apart from the State Disaster Response Force and RAC, eight teams of NDRF have been deployed for rescue and relief operations.

The death toll in Gujarat has risen to 53, including 28 deaths in worst-hit Banaskantha district, and 14 districts and a population of about 40 lakh were affected.

More than 10 lakh food packets have been airdropped or distributed to the flood victims. Temporary relief camps have been set up in affected areas and people have been accommodated in them.

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