The West Bengal government has issued a high alert in three coastal districts ahead of spring tide (full moon tide) on Friday, when water levels in rivers and the sea are expected to swell by a few meters.
“Due to the spring tide, the water level in the rivers and the sea is expected to rise at least one meter high beyond the daily high tide levels. The water level could touch 5 .67m at Sagar near the confluence of the Ganges and the Bay of Bengal.During the daily high tide, the water level reaches around 4.5m,” said an official, who declined to be named.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee held a meeting on Wednesday to take stock of the situation and alert district officials.
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The state has received excessive rainfall since June 1. The Indian Meteorological Department forecast more rains. The state typically receives about 226 mm of rain through June 23. This year it has received 315mm so far.
“The coastal district of South 24 Parganas received 84% excess rain while East Midnapore received 63% excess rain during this period. Kolkata also received 83% excess rain,” said an official, who declined to be named.
Cyclone Yaas also inflicted severe damage to sea levees and river banks in coastal areas and the Sunderban Islands. Not all the damage could be repaired properly as the monsoon set in.
Officials fear that if some of the weaker and damaged sections of the embankments collapse, some villages will again be flooded.
A storm surge caused the maximum damage when Cyclone Yaas hit on May 26. The cyclone coincided with the high perigee tide (which occurs when the moon is closest to the earth) and triggered the 7-8m high storm surge. Several villages were flooded and caused property damage worth thousands of crores.
The neighboring states of Jharkhand and Bihar also received excessive rains.
“When neighboring states receive excessive rains, they release water from the dams. As a result, some of our districts including Howrah, Hooghly and Burdwan are flooded. District administrations have been alerted,” another official said. , who declined to be named.