Monday, December, 04,2023

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Cloudburst in North Sikkim leads to flooding in four districts in West Bengal

Kolkata: The cloudburst in North Sikkim and subsequent release of water resulted in an outburst in Lake Lhonak and a major breach in Chungthang dam.

After that, more than 8000 cubic metres per second of water has been released from the Teesta barrage which has resulted in flood-like situations in the downstream districts of Kalimpong, Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar, a press release about the flood situation in West Bengal stated.

The National Highway-10 connecting Gangtok to Siliguri has been completely washed away near the Likhuvir-Setijhora stretch. Immediate repairs on a war footing will be taken as and when the water recedes in Teesta. The Chief Engineer along with the entire team has rushed to the location, the release stated.

The message of the cloudburst and subsequent flashflood in Teesta River was communicated by Chief Secretary Sikkim and National Hydroelectric Power Corporation authorities at 3 am Wednesday morning.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was immediately informed about the disaster following which she directed the Chief Secretary to alert all the concerned District Magistrates and Superintendent of Police (SP) and mobilize all the Departments to ensure the launching of quick rescue operations so that there is no loss of lives.

District Magistrates, Police Commissioners and SPs immediately started the evacuation and shifting of people from vulnerable areas of the four districts of Kalimpong, Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and parts of Cooch Behar, the release said.
Four teams of NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) have been deployed presently in North Bengal (two in Jalpaiguri, one in Darjeeling and one in Siliguri). Two more companies of NDRF have also been dispatched to Jalpaiguri. Apart from NDRF, seven SDRF (State Disaster Response Force) teams are presently deployed in these three districts.

One column of the Army has been requisitioned to rescue a family that has been stranded in the Rangpo area. A large number of people have been evacuated to safer places. Flood shelters have been opened and relief distribution has started, the release stated.
The Chief Minister has conveyed through the Chief Secretary to the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC) Eastern Command that the state government is ready to render all help to the Army in this hour of crisis.

Meanwhile, due to persistent low pressure over Bengal for the last few days resulting in heavy rainfall in south Bengal and Jharkhand, there has been a heavy discharge of water from various Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) barrages of Maithon and Panchet and reservoirs of Mukutmanipur. The districts of Bankura, Howrah, Hooghly, Paschim Medinipur and South 24 Parganas have been severely affected, the release said.

In Hooghly, parts of Khanakul-I, Khanakul-II and Tarakeswar have been inundated. In Howrah, due to the overtopping of lower Damodar at different places. Parts of Udaynarayanpur and Amta blocks have been affected. In Paschim Medinipur, due to heavy rainfalls large parts of the Sabong and Ghatal blocks have been inundated.

Five NDRF teams have been deployed- two at Howrah, two at Hooghly and one at Paschim Medinipur. SDRF teams have also been deployed in these districts.

Owing to the flood situation, a 24x7 Control Room has been set up at Nabanna in Kolkata. Moreover, another 24x7 Control Room in functional at the Tourism Department is functional in the Tourism Centre at Kolkata's BBD Bag. In addition to this, 24x7 Integrated Control Rooms are functional in all districts, the release stated.

Leaves of state government employees have been cancelled. The Health Department has been directed to ensure an adequate supply of emergency medicines for dengue and malaria. No loss of life has been reported in the state so far, it said. 

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