IMD issues rainfall warnings for North Bengal districts

Darjeeling: The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) in a special weather bulletin has issued a “red” warning for heavy to very heavy rainfall (7-20 cm) with extremely heavy rains (>20 cm) very likely to occur at one or two places over Jalpaiguri, Alipurduar, Cooch Behar district and “orange” warning of heavy to very heavy rains (7-20 cm) in Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts on Wednesday.

Thunderstorms with lightning and gusty winds (30-40 kmph) are likely to occur in Jalpaiguri, Malda, North Dinajpur and South Dinajpur districts. This comes on the heels of parts of Sikkim battered by heavy rain leaving three dead in Yangyang. The National Highway 10 connecting Sikkim with the plains of Bengal also remained closed for around two hours on Monday owing to a landslide at Santinagar area in Sikkim. Rivers, including the Teesta, are also in spate owing to the heavy rains.

The IMD has issued orange warning (heavy rains) for Alipurduar and Cooch Behar and yellow warning for Darjeeling district on June 13. An orange warning has been issued for Jalpaiguri, Alipurduar and Cooch Behar and yellow warning for Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts on June 14.

The IMD bulletin stated that the “possible impact” of heavy rains could trigger landslides in hilly areas (Darjeeling and Kalimpong.) Water levels could rise in Teesta, Jaldhaka, Sankosh and Torsa. Owing to the landslide in the Santinagar area in the wee hours of Tuesday, serpentine traffic jams occurred on the Singtam to Gangtok stretch on the NH10. Later with the debris cleared, the road was open to traffic. Meanwhile, heavy rains triggered a landslide in the Namchi district of Sikkim on Monday morning, resulting in the death of three people in Yangang. Relief and rescue operations were conducted by the Sikkim administration. The Government of Sikkim has approved ex-gratia for the landslide victims of Yangyang. New houses will be constructed for victims who have lost their homes to landslides.

“We are also keeping a close tab on the situation, specially on the water level of the Teesta,” stated Balasubramanian T, District Magistrate, Kalimpong.

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