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Heavy rain forecast for 48 hours

Aug. 17: North Bengal and adjoining Sikkim may receive heavy rain or thundershower in the next 48 hours, the Met office said today. The weather condition is because of an active Southwest monsoon and the formation of an upper air cyclonic circulation over the region, sources said.

The forecast came at a time the state irrigation department has sounded a red alert in the unprotected areas along the Fulahar river in Malda.

The river has flooded at least 15 villages in Harishchandrapur and Ratua blocks affecting over 10,000 people.

“A secondary alert has been sounded in some areas on the banks of the Fulahar river,” Sharad Dwivedi, the district magistrate of Malda, said.

In Malda’s Manikchak, water from the Ganga had inundated some villages. The water receded today. Water level has gone down in Cooch Behar, Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar also since yesterday afternoon. The areas had been flooded since Friday evening.

There has been a breach in the embankment in Saldhukri of Tufanganj-I block. “The village is at the confluence of Kaljani, Torsha and Ghorghoria rivers. A portion of the embankment has been breached. Engineers from the district irrigation department have reached the spot,” said an administrative source.

In Alipurduar, a yellow alert has been sounded near the Torsha. In Kumargram block, water from the Sankosh flooded four-five villages yesterday. The water receded today.

In Jalpaiguri, villages in Dhupguri close to Gilandi and Dudua rivers were flooded. “The situation improved because there was no rain. But there is possibility of fresh flood as it started raining this evening,” Gautam Dutta, chief engineer of North Bengal Flood Control Commission, said.

Rain has brought smiles for tea planters and doctors. While the planters are hopeful of a good yield, the doctors are happy as it would flush out accumulated water from the breeding ground of mosquito.

An India Meteorological Department source said: “The rain deficit in north Bengal this time has been met. There is shortage of about 14 per cent in the total rainfall since June 1. That is in normal limit.”