INDIA: During the Durga idol immersion, a flash flood hit Mal River in West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri on October 5. The last day of puja turned cataclysmic and took away 8 lives keeping many others missing. The incident occurred at night, and according to police officials, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and civil defence were deployed for the rescue operation.
District Magistrate Moumita Godara made an official statement, “All of a sudden, a flash flood struck, and people have swept away. So far, eight bodies have been recovered, and we have rescued around 50 people. Search and rescue operations are being carried out by teams of the NDRF, SDRF, police and the local administration. Search operations have started downstream.” Almost a crowd of hundred people surrounded the place during the idol immersion in West Bengal.
Meanwhile, PM Modi took to his Twitter to offer condolences to the families; he wrote, “Anguished by the mishap during Durga Puja festivities in Jalpaiguri, West Bengal. Condolences to those who lost their loved ones.” The Prime Minister also announced 50,000 for each injured person and 2 lakhs PMNRF to those who lost their lives in the flood.
On the other hand, Bengal BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari also expressed his grief and concern over the incident and wrote on his social media handle, “Saddening news coming from Jalpaiguri as a flash flood in Mal river during Durga Puja immersion swept away many people. Few deaths have been reported till now. I request the DM of Jalpaiguri & @chief_west to urgently step up rescue efforts & provide assistance to those in distress.”
The Jalpaiguri SP Debarshi Dutta said, “Flash flood hits Mal River in Jalpaiguri during Durga Visarjan. Seven people were dead, several were feared missing, many people were trapped in the river, and many washed away. Bodies of seven people were recovered. NDRF and civil defence deployed; rescue underway.”