Saturday, July 02, 2011

Teesta rises,More rain forecast for Sikkim

Gangtok, July 1: The weather department has forecast heavy rain for the sub-Himalayan Bengal and Sikkim in the next two days and asked the government to be prepared to meet any eventuality.

The warning has been issued at a time a large number of villages in north bengal are under water because of incessant rain for the past two-three days. Murti in Jalpaiguri district recorded 270mm of rain in 24 hours till 8.30am today (see chart).

According to sources in the Indian Meteorological Department, more than 75 per cent of Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar districts and Sikkim could receive heavy rain from tomorrow onwards.

In the weather department parlance, a rainfall ranging from 64.5mm to 124.4mm in one day will be construed as “heavy”.

“There is a strong presence of low-pressure trough at the sea level till Assam. Besides, convective clouds are hanging over the sub-Himalayan Bengal, Sikkim and some parts of adjoining Bihar, where the south-west monsoon is active. Heavy rain has been forecast in some areas of the region and a warning has been issued,” said Indranil Sengupta, the assistant meteorological officer at the Regional Met Office in Jalpaiguri.

The IMD has asked government departments like irrigation, railways, telecom and public works to be on their toes and tackle any situation arising out of the heavy rain.

Weather officials said Kalimpong had recorded the highest rain in north Bengal in the current season, while Cooch Behar and Jalpaiguri received the lowest. This year, Kalimpong has so far received 3,430mm of rain, higher by 3,000mm from the normal amount of precipitation during the initial days of the monsoon.

The incessant rain has swelled up rivers. As the Teesta is flowing above the extreme danger level, the North Bengal Flood Control Commission declared a red alert at Domohoni, which is an unprotected area on the left bank of the river.

“In protected areas on either bank of the Teesta, a primary or yellow alert has been declared right up to Mekhliganj where the river enters Bangladesh,” said a flood control commission official.

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