Natureís Fury - 120 die as tornado hits Bihar, Bengal

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Old 15-Apr-2010
Lightbulb Natureís Fury - 120 die as tornado hits Bihar, Bengal

A deadly storm crashed through north Bengal, east Bihar and Assam in the dead of night on Tuesday, killing 120 people, injuring over 200 and leaving a trail of destruction. Raging at a speed of 80-125 kmph, it brought down houses, snapped communication lines and uprooted trees in North Dinajpur and Jalpaiguri in Bengal and Araria, Kishanganj, Supaul and Purnia in Bihar. According to the Met office, the scale of destruction pointed to a tornado


RAIGANJ/PURNIA/GUWAHATI: Natureís tandava in the dead of night left a trail of destruction with more than 120 people dead and 200 injured in east Bihar, north Bengal and Assam. The toll is likely to go up as rescuers make contact with areas that have been cut off after the fierce storm snapped communication lines.

The tornado, packing winds between 80 and 125 kmph, ripped through more than one lakh houses in Biharís Araria, Purnia, Katihar and Kishanganj districts and Bengalís North Dinajpur and Jalpaiguri districts. "From the extent of twisted trees and poles, the depth of thundercloud and volume of devastation, it appears to be a tornado," said G C Debnath, director, Regional Meteorological Centre, Alipore.

Accompanied by thunder, lightning and rain, the gale flattened thousands of thatched houses, blew away tin-made roofs and killed hundreds of cattle. National Highway 34 was blocked at several points. In North Dinajpur alone, 38 deaths were reported from four blocks that bore the brunt of the stormís fury. Additional DM PK Dutta said 18 deaths occurred in Karandighi block and eight in Raiganj. Three people died in Hemtabad and two at Kaliaganj. Most of the deaths were due to house collapses. The police barracks in Raiganj were flattened.

"The casualties were high because the storm struck when people had retired for the night and were caught unawares," Dutta said. Healthcare facilities in the two Bengal districts are under tremendous strain, he added. In Biharís Araria, Purnia, Katihar and Kishanganj districts, at least 69 people were killed and 125 injured. Araria district recorded 33 deaths, Purnia 29, Katihar 6 and Kishanganj 1. Many died when the storm turned tin roofs into deadly missiles, slicing through people. Araria district jailís 50-feet-high wall caved in. "We are shifting 650 inmates of Araria Jail to Purnia," a jail official said. Officials said the "eye of the cyclonic gale" was near Amour and Baisi blocks in Purnia district and Jokihat and Araria blocks in Araria district.

"We have reports of seven deaths in Dagarwa, five each in Baisi and Amour and two each in Kasba and Jalalgarh blocks in the district," a Purnia district official, Bhupendra Narayan Singh, told TOI.

Four people were killed at Mankachar in Dhubri district of Assam. West Bengal disaster management minister Mortaza Hussain said 20,000 tarpaulins, dry food and garments had been sent to affected areas. In Bihar, CM Nitish Kumar announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 1.50 lakh to next of kin of each of the deceased besides ordering construction of pucca houses under Indira Awas Yojana.

Old 15-Apr-2010
Und3rgr0und J4tt1
Re: Natureís Fury - 120 die as tornado hits Bihar, Bengal

oh dear

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