Two killed as heavy rains lash north Bengal, thunderstorm forecast for Kolkata

Incessant rains in the Dooars region of north Bengal cut off direct road connectivity with Siliguri as a bridge on the arterial National Highway 31 was damaged, leading to an accident that killed two persons, officials said on Tuesday.

The Met department has warned of heavy to very heavy rain till Friday morning in the north Bengal districts of Kalimpong, Alipurduar, Darjeeling, Coochbehar and Jalpaiguri.

A bridge over Juranti Khola at Bagrakote on NH 31 got damaged in the heavy rain since Monday night, officials said, adding that a pickup truck coming towards Siliguri from Assam fell in it, killing its driver and helper.

“The driver probably could not see the damage on the bridge in the early morning amid rain, leading to the accident,” a police officer said.

Direct road connectivity between Siliguri and several areas in the forested Dooars region, where several tea gardens are also located, has been cut off owing to the damage to the bridge, officials said.

Bagrakote recorded 23 cm rainfall in 24 hours till 8.30 am, the highest in West Bengal during the said period, the Met department said.

Other places in north Bengal that recorded heavy rain during the period were Neora (14 cm), Champasari and Murti (13 cm each), Bagdogra (11 cm), Kalimpong (9 cm), Siliguri, Sevoke, Sukhiapokhri, Gazaldoba and Hasimara (8 cm each), the Met department said.

“Heavy to very heavy rain with extremely heavy rain is very likely over the districts of north Bengal between July 28 and 30,” Regional Met director G K Das said in Kolkata.

He warned of landslides in hilly regions, inundation of low-lying areas, blockage of roads and rise in water levels in the rivers.

The weatherman has forecast thunderstorms with lightning in the south Bengal districts, including Kolkata, till Thursday morning.

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