May 21: At least nine persons were killed and over 40 injured in a nor’wester that ripped through Calcutta and several south Bengal districts this evening.
R.. Goldar, the deputy director-general of the regional meteorological centre at Alipore, said a storm raced through Calcutta and its adjoining areas at a speed of 87 kmph for about five minutes from 5.37 pm. It was followed by 18.8 mm of rain that pushed the mercury down by 9 degrees from 32 degrees Celsius.
At least three persons were killed and 10 others injured at Char Majdia in Nabadwip, Nadia, when an uprooted banyan tree toppled on a temple with over a dozen devotees inside. Sub-divisional officer (Sadar) Bidyut Bhattacharya said the casualties were Sukhada Mondal, 80, and two 16-year-old students, Dipak Das and Avijit Das.
Two women, Tagari Biswas, 18, and Shashirani Sarkar, 40, were crushed to death by the tree under which they had taken shelter at Kalna in Burdwan. In Manteswar in the same district, a man and a woman were struck down by lightning when they were returning from the fields.
An uprooted tree claimed another life at Dhaldanga in Bankura, when it fell on a tea stall killing Santana Bauri, 50, who had stepped in to escape the gale.
Another woman died when a boat carrying eight people capsized at Burul in South 24-Parganas’ Falta during the storm. Her body has been recovered, but her husband is still missing.
Police and hospital sources said several people were injured after houses collapsed in Bablari and Gayeshpur in Shantipur. About 25 others were hurt when they could not hide from the fury of the nor’wester at Cooper’s Camp and Birnagar in Ranaghat.