High-tide alert: 5 lakh people evacuated from coastal areas
Kolkata: Besides taking all precautionary measures including evacuation of nearly 5 lakh people from coastal and riverine areas, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee directed all ministers to keep a close watch at their respective areas to avoid loss of life due to high tide that would hit the state on June 11 and 26.
Within 20 days of the devastation caused by Cyclone Yaas, high-tide coupled with forecast of heavy rainfall due to formation of a low pressure trough on Bay of Bengal has come up as a cause of concern for the state. Besides continuing with the relief work among Yaas affected people, authorities of East Midnapore, North and South 24-Parganas have taken all necessary steps to check loss of life.
Meanwhile, a tornedo—on Thursday— hit the Mandirtala area at Sagar in South 24-Parganas on Thursday. Though it did not cause any loss to property or life, it led to panic in the area. Local people spotted the tornedo on river Hooghly.
Cyclone Yaas had led to a "storm surge" in the water level up to 3.5 metre in Digha and 2.5 metre in Sagar. With no forecast of any storm, there will be normal surge in water level on Friday as it usually happens during any new moon (amavasya) or full moon (purnima) phase.
According to the sources in the state Disaster Management department, at least 20,000 people in Mousuni Island and 1.5 lakh at Kultali and Gosaba along river Matla have also been evacuated. People have been evacuated from places including Hingalganj, Sandeshkhali, Khejuri, Digha, Ramnagar and Sutahata.
"Already around 2.5 lakh people, who were evacuated during cyclone Yaas, are still staying at cyclone shelters. They remained at the cyclone shelters apprehending that their villages would once again go under water due to the high tide. Another 2.5 lakh people have been taken to cyclone shelters in the past two days to avoid loss of life due to the high tide," said an officer.
Sources said that during the cabinet meeting on Thursday, Banerjee has directed the ministers to remain present in their own constituencies on the days of high tide and to ensure all necessary support to the people in their areas.
The control room at Nabanna is maintaining a close watch and coordinating with officers of all concerned departments and districts.
The state government has already provided 13.70 lakh tarpaulin, 16 lakh garments, 5 lakh bed sheets and 24,370 blankets to all the districts till June 9.
This comes when Banerjee has already announced a primary assistance of Rs 1,000 crore while the Centre has allotted Rs 404 crore to the State Disaster Response Fund.
The Centre has also sent a letter to the state government regarding the sanction of Rs 300 crore to Bengal for cyclone Yaas.