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4 killed, over 100 injured as storm hits Bengal's Jalpaiguri; Guv, CM to visit affected areas


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JALPAIGURI: Four people died and over 100 were injured as a 'sudden' storm wreaked havoc in parts of Jalpaiguri district in northern West Bengal on Sunday, officials said.

Several hutments and houses were damaged, trees uprooted and electric poles came crushing down as strong winds accompanied by hail struck most parts of the district headquarters town and many areas of neighbouring Mainaguri, they said.

Among the most affected areas were Rajarhat, Barnish, Bakali, Jorpakdi, Madhabdanga and Saptibari, the officials said, adding that several acres of agricultural lands and crops suffered damages.

The deceased were identified as Dijendra Narayan Sarkar (52), Anima Burman (45), Jagen Roy (72) and Samar Roy (64).

"Many pedestrians were injured by hail. The disaster response team has been deployed and helpdesks set up," a senior official of Jalpaiguri district said.

Dhupguri MLA Nirmal Chandra Roy told PTI that several people have been admitted to hospital with injuries.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has cancelled her scheduled programmes and will head to Jalpaiguri later on Sunday, TMC sources said.

Governor C V Ananda Bose will also be leaving for Jalpaiguri on Monday to visit the affected areas, Raj Bhavan officials said.

An emergency cell has also been opened at the Raj Bhavan to deal with the situation in Jalpaiguri, they said.

Banerjee said personnel of the civil administration, police and disaster management have been deployed for relief work.

"Sad to know that sudden heavy rainfall and stormy winds brought disasters today afternoon in some Jalpaiguri-Maynaguri areas, with loss of human lives, injuries, house damages, uprooting of trees and electricity poles etc," she said on X.

"District administration will provide compensation to next of kin in the case of the deaths, and the injured as per rules and following the MCC (model code of conduct)," she added.

The governor is in touch with the disaster management authority in Delhi.

He has requested it to rush more reinforcement by way of manpower and materials to Jalpaiguri, according to an official statement said.

"He is in touch with the Union Home Ministry. He will camp in Jalpaiguri tomorrow and visit ground zero and houses of the victims," it said.

(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)