Kolkata: Rising river water levels due to the landfall of cyclone ‘Yaas‘ have inundated large parts of West Bengal’s coastal districts of Purba Medinipur and South 24 Parganas on Wednesday, as sea waves were seen touching coconut tree-tops and cars floating in floodwaters.
The seaside towns of Digha and Mandarmoni in Purba Medinipur and Fraserganj and Gosaba in South 24 Parganas were among the areas affected by a storm surge of more than 2 metres above the astronomical tide level.
The surging waters have breached embankments at several places in the two coastal districts, inundating many villages and small towns, officials said.
Water levels of several rivers including Bidyadhari, Hooghly and Rupnarayan have risen owing to ‘Yaas’ and accompanying storm surge.
Army, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and state police and civil defence volunteers were working round-the-clock to move people to safety.
The Army has deployed 17 columns to assist the state administration, of which one rescued 32 stranded civilians at Digha, a Defence official said.
The MeT Department has forecast extremely heavy rainfall on Wednesday in Purba and Paschim Medinipur districts and heavy to very heavy rainfall in Jhargram, Bankura, South 24 Parganas districts.
Heavy rain will occur at isolated places in Purulia, Nadia, Murshidabad, Purba Bardhaman, Howrah, Hooghly, Kolkata, North 24 Parganas, Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts owing to the effect of ‘Yaas’, the weatherman said.
In 24 hours till 8.30 am, Digha received 5.5 cm rainfall, Diamond Harbour got 3.3 cm rainfall, Haldia 3.2 cm rainfall.
Kolkata got 2.24 cm rainfall, Salt Lake received 3.05 cm rain, Contai got 5.42 cm rain and Kalaikunda received 2.2 cm rainfall.
The West Bengal government has evacuated over 15 lakh people from vulnerable areas to safety so far.