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Heavy Rain Batters Bengal, Efforts Underway to Pump Out Water from Inundated Areas

Police personnel return after finishing their duty to waterlogged Armed Police Headquarters after rain, at Body Guard Lines in Kolkata, Thursday. (PTI)

Police personnel return after finishing their duty to waterlogged Armed Police Headquarters after rain, at Body Guard Lines in Kolkata, Thursday. (PTI)

Incessant showers in south Bengal have increased water levels in many rivers, including Ajoy, Darakeswar, Subarnarekha and Kangsabati, raising fears of a flood.

Kolkata: Several low-lying areas and thoroughfares in the city and its outskirts lay inundated on Thursday as heavy rain continued to lash parts of Bengal, with the Met department predicting more downpour over the next three days under the influence of a vigorous southwest monsoon and a cyclonic circulation. Incessant showers in south Bengal have increased water levels in many rivers, including Ajoy, Darakeswar, Brahmani, Shilabati, Subarnarekha and Kangsabati, raising fears of a flood-like situation in the adjoining areas.

According to the Met department, Kolkata recorded 144 mm rainfall in 24 hours till 8.30 am on Thursday, as heavy spells battered the city all night. The southern parts of the metropolis received more rainfall than the north, leaving streets and alleys waterlogged in Ballygunge Circular Road, Loudon Street, Southern Avenue and places in Kasba, Behala and Tollygunge.

State transport minister Firhad Hakim, who is also the chief of Kolkata Municipal Corporation's board of administrators, visited several areas in the city to take stock of the situation. "All efforts were being to pump out water from the inundated areas and restore normalcy. Accumulated water will drain out once the level in river Ganga subsides," he said.

Dry food has been arranged for those affected in the low-lying areas of the city, Hakim said. The weatherman has forecast an overcast sky with spells of heavy rain in Kolkata till Saturday.

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Canning in South 24 Parganas district registered maximum rainfall in Bengal during the 24-hour period at 178.6 mm, while Bankura received 133.2 mm, the Met department said. Moderate to heavy showers were also recorded in some places of north Bengal.

Darjeeling experienced more than 70 mm rainfall. With the state government easing COVID-19 curbs and offices partially opening up in the metropolis and elsewhere, people had a difficult time wading through knee-deep water to reach their destinations.

Traffic came to a halt in some areas as vehicles moved slowly through the flooded thoroughfares. The weatherman explained that moderate rain with spells of heavy showers are expected in almost all districts of Bengal in the next three days as the southwest monsoon has turned vigorous over Gangetic West Bengal and a cyclonic circulation has formed on the region.

It further said that heavy rain is likely to occur at one or two places in Howrah, Hooghly, East Midnapore, Jhargram, Nadia, East and West Bardhaman, Murshidabad, Jalpaiguri, North and South Dinajpur and Malda districts. Similarly, heavy to very heavy rain is likely to occur at one or two pockets in North and South 24 Parganas, West Midnapore, Bankura, Purulia, Darjeeling and Kalimpong.

The Met department has cautioned fishermen against venturing into deep sea for now.

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first published:June 17, 2021, 20:22 IST