West Bengal floods: Death toll rises to 31, but weather conditions improving marginally

Kolkata: The flood situation in West Bengal marginally improved on Saturday even as three more persons died in the last 24 hours, taking the toll to 31 since 21 July, an official said.

With the weather conditions improving slightly and the Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) releasing less water, the situation in the 11 flood-hit districts improved slightly, he added.

 West Bengal floods: Death toll rises to 31, but weather conditions improving marginally

Representational image. PTI

Over 23 lakh people were affected in over 165 villages, which were inundated by heavy rains and the water released by the DVC, said the official.

Nearly 45,000 people have taken shelter in over 2,000 relief camps set up in the flood-hit districts. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the flood situation had improved in the state.

"The flood situation is better but the problem will again arise if it rains and more water is released (from the DVC). Many people have been rescued from Ghatal," she said at the state secretariat. However, an official at the state secretariat said on the condition of anonymity that the flood situation in Ghatal had, in fact, worsened.

Sources said the state government was yet to estimate the loss incurred by the farmers as over 2.5 lakh hectares of agricultural land were submerged.

The chief minister had earlier described the flood as "man-made" and said the current situation in the state was worse than the one caused by the floods in 1978.

Meanwhile, an Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopter rescued nine members of a family from a house at Ghatal in West Midnapore district Saturday morning.

"Nine persons, including three women and five children, of the same family were winched to safety from a submerged house in Ghatal," said an IAF official. "There are a few more people still inside the house, who were reluctant to leave it...we understand their sentiment and will again request the helicopter to pursue them to be rescued," he added.

Another IAF helicopter distributed 500 kilograms of relief materials including medicines, food and water pouches in the flood-hit areas.

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Updated Date: Jul 29, 2017 21:20:18 IST