Cyclonic storm Yaas brought destruction in the coastal regions of West Bengal. The floods triggered by the cyclone-affected people in the low-lying areas and also damaged dams, embankments, and sea boulders.
East Midnapore is one of the worst-affected districts after several villages got submerged as sea water entered residential areas and rivers started swelling. One fisherman had also died in the district after he violated government warning and ventured out to sea.
Jaldha, a small village in Rampur Nagar-1 block of East Midnapore, also bore the brunt. Locals used to sit on embankments to enjoy their afternoons in the coastal village. However, on May 28, the residents saw the furious form of the sea, something they had never seen before.
The flash floods broke the 2.45 km long guard wall along the sea line and water entered the village. The embankment now looks as if someone has lifted it upside down.
Though the water has started receding in the submerged village, the residents fear the high tides can return anytime, and the broken sea wall would only make things worse for them.
“There is still one person in my house with water. I have to swim and enter the village. The government has given us a tarpaulin sheet. I am building a house on the road with it,” said Sanghamitra Sau, who was sitting in a relief camp.
The villagers said the sea dam was built just four months ago, and are wondering how a newly constructed embankment could be broken. The angry residents have organised themselves, and are demanding the construction of a new guard wall.
Locals have alleged that the broken sea wall was made of substandard material, and therefore could not withstand the flash floods.
Even as the villagers are protesting for a new dam, some of them seem to have lost hope. “The new moon will come soon. Water will enter the village again through the broken dam. Our future is over,” said Ajay Sau, one of the elders of the village.