Seasonal thunderstorm hit various parts of the state disrupting train services and blocking roads by uprooting trees on Monday evening. The rain, accompanied by lightning after a week-long heat wave, gave great respite to the citizens.
The Regional Meteorological Centre (RMC) at Alipore described the thunderstorm as monsoon rain and indicated the possibility of a similar one on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon as well.
However, several persons including women and children were reportedly injured. Most of them received injuries when branches of trees fell on them. A middle-aged person was injured in East Midnapore when a wall collapsed on him. There were, however, no such news from the city.
According to some local report, they were working on the field while heavy thunderstorm accompanied by a squall and frequent lightning started. They desperately tried to reach to a nearby shelter but received injuries while escaping from there. Several districts of South Bengal — North and South 24 Parganas, Nadia, Howrah, Hooghly, East and West Midnapore, Jhargram, Bankura, Purulia, East and West Burdwan, Murshidabad as well as some districts in North Bengal received rain and thundershowers. The thunderstorm was accompanied by winds at a speed of over 90 kmph.
Many bamboo and cloth-made camps set up for the elections were broken on Monday and the villagers started to repair them overnight. Like the districts, intensity of storm was quite heavy in Kolkata. The effect of rain was seen crippling road traffic, railway services and flight operations. Police said that trees fell in at least 10-12 places in the districts.
The workforce of district administrations and civic bodies were soon pressed into service to move the big tree trunks from the roads to normalise traffic movement.
According to RMC, the storm struck Kolkata at 5.45 pm. Normal life was thrown out of gear as it rained cats and dogs. In the districts, it came an hour early. "This is a monsoon rain. The monsoon has entered in the state on June 12. The winds are strong over the Gangetic West Bengal which has brought in this shower," said a senior meteorologist.
He also explained that monsoon trough line extended from Rajasthan to Gangetic West Bengal. Another trough line was seen on Sub-Himalayan West Bengal.
These two trough lines will bring rain in the state in the next two-three days, he added.