Monsoon downpour has flooded at least four districts of north Bengal, affecting over 70,000 people.
Large areas in Jalpaiguri, Cooch Behar, Alipurduar and Malda are either flooded or waterlogged.
In Jalpaiguri, around 30,000 people in 30 panchayats in Sadar, Malbazar and Maynaguri blocks are affected by the overflowing Teesta and some other rivers.
Thousands of people have been shifted to safer places. “Unprotected areas (without embankments) have been flooded by the rivers as water levels have increased during the past three days due to incessant rainfall. We are keeping a watch. BDOs have been asked to extend all possible aid to people,” said Abhishek Tiwary, Jalpaiguri district magistrate.
On Monday, the DM held a meeting with the BDOs to ask them to ensure that water is pumped out from the areas to prevent the outbreak of vector-borne diseases such as dengue and maintain social distancing in relief shelters to prevent spreading of Covid-19.
In Cooch Behar, villages in Tufanganj subdivision and in some blocks of Dinhata subdivision have been inundated by the raging rivers. Rain led to waterlogging in a number of wards in Cooch Behar town.
Around 800 persons have been shifted to 24 flood shelters in Tufanganj, Arabinda Ghosh, the SDO said.
“In Tufanganj town, Raidak river flowing above danger level has flooded some wards and adjoining villages. Also, some villages near the India-Bangladesh border in Dinhata subdivision are flooded,” said an official.
In Alipurduar, four wards of the town are waterlogged. Hundreds of residents have moved to safer places and are waiting for water to recede. Rainfall has also taken a toll on the tea industry and as swollen rivers have started gobbling plantations.
In Malda, the administration shifted over 200 families to safe places as water levels of Ganga, Mahananda and Fulhar rose steadily these past few days. These rivers have flooded low-lying areas, said a source in the administration.