69 dead in Bengal Flood, Administration on their toes


Kolkata: With fresh discharge of water from the barrages and continuing high tide, the flood situation in south Bengal remained grim today as the death toll mounted to 69 while 3.63 lakh people took shelter in 2,213 relief camps in 12 affected districts. Twenty-one fresh deaths were reported today from the affected districts, taking the toll to 69, Disaster Management Department sources said adding that incidents lightening, wall collapse, electrocution, snake bite and drowning were to blame for the fatalities.

"Altogether 2,213 relief camps have been set up to shelter over 3.63 lakh marooned people and 461 medical camps opened," the sources said adding that the total number of affected people was nearly 52 lakh. The sources said that 55,899 houses were damaged and 2,72,488 houses were destroyed partly. Crop over an area of 5,18,173 hectares was damaged due to the floods.

State Irrigation Minister Rajib Banerjee said, "Even though there was reduced rainfall today, the situation remained unchanged in Burdwan, Hooghly, Howrah, West Midnapore and East Midnapore districts because of fresh release of water following heavy rains in upper catchment areas."  The districts of South 24-Parganas, North 24-Parganas, Nadia, Murshidabad, Bankura and Birbhum were the other badly affected regions, he said.

"The situation remained unchanged in the affected districts mainly because of high tide and release of water from different barrages. However, the situation is likely to improve after the discharge of water from the barrages is controlled," Rajib Banerjee said. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee reviewed the latest flood situation in a meeting with senior officials at the state secretariat. Last night, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had spoken to the CM over phone enquiring about the latest flood situation. .