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Death toll in Bengal rains and floods crosses 50

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In Jalpaiguri, West Bengal/ PTI Photo
Saeldah station in Kolkata/PTI Photo
Saeldah station in Kolkata/PTI Photo

Kolkata: The death toll in West Bengal due to heavy rains and floods crossed 50 on Sunday after seven more deaths, including of four children, were reported from various districts.

At least four children were killed and four other people seriously injured after they were struck by lightning in Barasat in North Paraganas district on Sunday, police said.

Buildings with weak structures collapsed in several areas, including in the city, due to overnight downpour.

An elderly man was crushed to death after a portion of his house collapsed here. A two-year-old was killed in Murshidabad district when a wall collapsed. A similar death was reported in Bankura.

The rains triggered flood-like situation, affecting 12 districts, damaging nearly two lakh houses and rendering over a lakh people homeless.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee met district officials and postponed her upcoming north Bengal tour.

“Several districts, including North and South 24 Parganas, Murshidabad, Burdwan and Howrah, have been affected. Disaster management teams are working on a war footing,” she said.

Banerjee said crops over 2.10 lakh hectares of farmland were destroyed across the state.

“The situation is getting worse with every passing day as more and more areas are getting inundated,” the chief minister said.

“While the entire state administration is working to reach out to the affected, we urge all political parties and NGOs to assist in relief work,” Banerjee said.

After several parts of the city got waterlogged, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation pressed into service over 300 pumps to drain out rainwater.

Meanwhile, the regional Met office has forecast heavy to very heavy rains at a few places in the Gangetic and sub-Himalayan West Bengal till Tuesday.

Fishermen have been warned not to venture out into the sea on the West Bengal coast.

 

(IANS)

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Prompt Evacuations in Southwestern Iran After Heavy Rains

Besides heavy rains, heavy damage from the floods has been blamed on widespread disregard for safety regulations in building and road constructions near rivers.

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A general view of the flooded city of Poldokhtar in the Lorestan province, April 2, 2019. Officials have ordered mass evacuations in neighboring Khuzestan as extensive rainfall reaches the oil-rich southwestern province. VOA

Iranian authorities have ordered the evacuation of six more towns in the southwestern province of Khuzestan, which is widely inundated with floods, state TV reported Saturday.

Gholamreza Shariati, the provincial governor, told state TV that rescue teams are taking residents to nearby shelters, including three army barracks.

Evacuation orders came as a new round of rain and floods is expected.

Shariati said emergency discharges from dams and reservoirs were adding to the high floodwaters, but such measures were essential to prevent the dams from overflowing or catastrophic breaches, with river waters continuing to rise upstream from the province.

Young men were asked to remain behind to help with rescue operations.

An Iranian woman walks through a flooded street in the city of Poldokhtar in the Lorestan province, April 02, 2019.
An Iranian woman walks through a flooded street in the city of Poldokhtar in the Lorestan province, April 02, 2019. VOA

Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli told state TV that about 400,000 people are at risk out of the province’s population of 5 million.

Eleven towns and scores of villages have been evacuated. There have been no evacuation orders for major cities, including the province’s capital of Ahvaz, which has 1.7 million residents.

There have been no reports of damage to the province’s petroleum facilities, which account for roughly 80 percent of Iran’s oil production.

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Authorities have put the number of dead at 70 people, as major flooding has hit the western half of the country, after years of drought.

Besides heavy rains, heavy damage from the floods has been blamed on widespread disregard for safety regulations in building and road constructions near rivers. (VOA)