Five persons were killed in lightning strikes and one drowned after heavy rain and thunderstorm lashed the state on Monday, a state disaster management official said.
The MeT department said that the heavy rainfall was caused by a cyclonic circulation over Bay of Bengal. It also warned of heavy to very heavy rainfall in five northern districts till June 29. “Heavy to very heavy rainfall (7-20 cm) will occur in most places of Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Jalpaiguri, Cooch Behar and Alipurduar districts from June 25-June 29, caused by an upper-air cyclonic circulation over West Assam and sub-Himalayan West Bengal,” a bulletin from the Met department said.
The downpour left streets in Kolkata and its adjoining areas waterlogged. Traffic was hit due to waterlogging as vehicles moved at a snail’s pace.
Mayor-in-council (drainage) of Kolkata Municipal Corporation Tarak Singh said pumps at all 73 pumping stations across the city are working properly and the situation would improve by evening. High tide in Hooghly river is also making life difficult for people living near the river as it is leading to waterlogging in nearby areas.
The MeT department said that several south Bengal districts would receive incessant rainfall over the next three days and issued an alert for North and South 24 Parganas and East Midnapore districts. “Rainfall is likely over south Bengal districts due to a cyclonic circulation over northwest Bay of Bengal,” the bulletin added.
Following the weather forecast, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee cancelled her scheduled three-day visit to Digha in East Midnapore district Tuesday to chair an administrative meeting.
Sources at state secretariat, Nabanna, said, they had a control room from where the chief minister would monitor the situation across the state. According to a source, all district magistrates have been alerted and asked to keep a watch on the situation round-the-clock.
“Fishermen have been warned not to venture into the sea,” said an official of the Regional Meteorological Centre in Kolkata.
Among the deceased, a seven-year-old boy was killed in Purulia district’s Bhomragora village and two others died in Rajendrapur of Basirhat II block and Keutepara in North 24 Parganas district due to lightning strikes, the official said.
A woman from Basanti block of Charpara village, and a man from Namkhana block of Uttar Chandanpiri village of South 24 Parganas district were also killed in lightning strikes on Monday morning, the official said. An airport employee in Kolkata was also injured after he was struck by lightning. An 18-year-old youth drowned in Sutunga river in Mekhliganj in Cooch Behar district during the rain.
(With PTI inputs)