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Komen triggers heavy rains; 70 dead in Bengal, Manipur, Odisha

The depression created from cyclone Komen, which has been hovering over Bangladesh, has triggered heavy rain in India’s northeastern and eastern states, killing at least 75 people in Manipur, West Bengal and Odisha.

india Updated: Aug 02, 2015 19:16 IST
Rains,Flash floods,West Bengal

The depression created from cyclone Komen, which has been hovering over Bangladesh, has triggered heavy rain in India’s northeastern and eastern states, killing at least 70 people in Manipur, West Bengal and Odisha.

As many as 48 people have died so far in West Bengal where chief minister Mamata Banerjee called in the army for rescue operations in worst flood-hit areas on Sunday.

Indian Army personnel carried out rescue operations at Jhawdanga village in Purbasthali Block 2 in Burdwan district from their base camp at Panagarh.

“Around 450 villagers have been already rescued from the flooded Jhawdanag village were river Bhagirathi is overflowing dangerously. Another 150 villagers are still stuck and the army is carrying out rescue operations,” Burdwan district magistrate Soumitra Mohan told HT.

Various rivers breached their embankments on Sunday, inundating several areas. Districts including Burdwan, Murshidabad, West Midnapore, Howrah were among those affected. Parts of Kolkata also remained waterlogged after continuous downpour for the past two days.

Both state and national highways in several districts were damaged, affecting traffic. While traffic on NH 60 was severely affected in Birbhum, the administration in Murshidabad stopped traffic on the state highway connecting Kandi and Salar after the road was flooded.

In West Bengal, more than 1.8 million people in 5,600 villages across 12 districts were affected by rains and flooding. (Prateek Choudhury/HT Photo)

In Manipur, at least 20 villagers were killed in a massive landslide at Joumol village, about 180 km south of Imphal. Two people including a 60-year-old farmer also died in Langmeidong and Rengkai.

Several houses were swept away as a landslide devastated a village in Chandel district, which borders Myanmar. Areas in and around state capital Imphal and its outskirts were submerged.

National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team has arrived to carry out rescue operations.

“A team of Assam Rifles have reached the spot (Joumol village) today with the help of a helicopter and carrying out search and rescue operation,” an official source said.

Moreh, a commercial town near Indo-Myanmar border has been cut off from Imphal due to landslide. Many villages in Ukhrul district have also been cut off from the rest of the state.

Several hundred people living on riverbanks have been moving to safer places.

In Odisha, 10 villages were marooned. Around 479,000 people in 597 villages were affected by floods.

"All the major rivers in the state are flowing below the danger level. However, inflow of rain water from West Bengal, where heavy rainfall occurred under the effect of cyclonic system Komen, has caused marooning of some more villages in Balasore district," special relief commissioner GVV Sarma said.

The rains also affected neighbouring Myanmar, were 27 people were killed and more than 150,000 affected by flooding. The government declared the four worst-hit areas in central and western Myanmar as "national disaster-affected regions".

The severe flooding across Myanmar hampered rescue efforts and thousands took shelter in monasteries.

India’s met department said cyclone Komen, which made landfall in Bangladesh on Thursday, has remained practically stationary there and weakened into a depression.

The weather phenomenon will move west-­northwest and gradually weaken into a well-marked low-pressure area, officials said.

(With inputs from agencies)

First Published: Aug 02, 2015 11:45 IST