The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Rain alarm rung in south

Oct. 7: The depression over Bay of Bengal triggered pounding rain across south Bengal in the past 48 hours, leading to deaths, destruction of houses and crops.

Three members of a family, including a child, died and more than 2,000 houses were razed to the ground in East Midnapore.

Chanchal Panda, 36, wife Sanchita, 28, and their six-year-old son Subhasish died when their mud hut collapsed in East Midnapore. Hundreds of houses collapsed but there was no other report of casualty, said the subdivisional officer of Contai.

The depression lay centred about 100 km east of Jagdalpur in Orissa this evening. The Met office said it is moving north and northwest, affecting south Bengal and areas along the Orissa-Andhra Pradesh border.

Fanned by a gusty wind and the lashing rain, seawater overtopped the shores in East Midnapore and South 24-Parganas. Large tracts of farmland were flooded.

Murshidabad, the Midnapores, Nadia, Howrah, Hooghly, Burdwan and North 24-Parganas received 60 mm of rain on an average. Parts of South 24-Parganas experienced 100 mm in the past 48 hours, relief minister Hafiz Alam Sairani said. He added that the administrations in all the affected districts have been put on high alert.

“The south Bengal districts will also be affected if it continues to rain in Jharkhand,” said Sairani. “We have taken adequate precautions,” the minister assured.

Train services on both the Eastern and South-eastern sectors were disrupted as tress fell on overhead cables and snapped power supply along the tracks. Commuters, though lesser in number on a rainy day, found themselves stranded in several stations in the Sealdah section.

Control rooms have been opened in the Midnapore districts, which bore the brunt of the rain today. They are working round-the-clock.

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