The thatched hut in Bagbera, Jamshedpur, where two children died on Wednesday. (Bhola Prasad)
A leaking sky and surging rivers spelt doom in Jamshedpur, which saw the death of two children in a house collapse in the small hours of Wednesday and flash flood in low-lying areas in the morning, affecting over 2,000 people.
Santosh Das (8) and her seven-year-old brother Anshu died on the spot when their thatched hut at Somai Jhopri in Bagbera gave in during the heavy downpour around 12.15am. Their father Hemchandra Das (30), a contract worker, mother Sita Das, grandfather Pradeep Das (55) and 22-year-old sister Subhadra Das sustained injuries. They are at MGM hospital, Sakchi.
The picture elsewhere was no less gloomy, as hundreds were left homeless after their houses went under water as a result of opening of dam gates in Chandil (Seraikela-Kharsawan), and Bankabal and Sulaipath, both at Mayurbhanj in Odisha, since Monday night.
Although several gates were closed on Wednesday, water from overflowing Subernarekha and Kharkai, which had already crossed the danger mark of 121.5m and 129m, respectively, flooded several low-lying areas.
At 3pm, the water level at Subernarekha in Mango was at 123.35m, and 134.03m at Kharkai in Adityapur.
Apart from Nai Basti of Bagbera, the other affected areas are CP Tola, Somai Jhopri and Baroda Ghat area, where water from Kharkai gushed in around 10.30pm on Tuesday. Similar scenes were witnessed at Islam Nagar, Shiv Ghat and Garib Nawaz Colony of Jugsalai and Shastrinagar.
Water from Subernarekha entered several areas of Mango too. The worst hit are Kunwar Basti and Daiguttu on Old Purulia Road, Sankosai Road No. 1 and Hadi Godam near Kabirnagar. Babudih Basti in Bhuiyandih and Bagunnagar and Baridih Basti in Baridih were also affected.
According to reports received from the flood control cell of Subernarekha Multipurpose Project at 3pm, all eight radial gates of Chandil dam had been shut, while only one of Bankabal in Mayurbhanj, Odisha, was open. Three gates of Bankabal dam were opened on Tuesday.
East Singhbhum DC Amitabh Kaushal said they were doing their best to help the affected. “We have pooled in resources from Indian Red Cross Society and private enterprises to rescue those trapped with the help of rafts and shift them to shelter camps,” he said.
The district’s disaster management cell held an emergency meeting in the evening, where Kaushal instructed JSEB and Jusco to cut power supply to flooded areas to prevent electrocution.
The administration has also asked CRPF and the army to be ready for evacuation.