Death count in Bengal floods now 17
Large portions in southern West Bengal remained inundated even as the toll shot up to 17 with eight more deaths reported in the 24 hours since Thursday afternoon, officials said Friday.
The worst affected West Midnapore accounted for nine deaths.
Five perished in Burdwan, two in Bankura and one in Howrah, sources in the state disaster management department sources said.
However, with an overall improvement in the flood situation, the number of people sheltered in camps set upby the state government has gone down to 38,436 from about 81,000.
Irrigation Minister Rajib Banerjee said the situation was improving in West Midnapore, while army personnel deployed to plug a 75-meter breach of embankment on river Kangsabati had nearly completed their task.
Some of the rivers in the two districts, earlier in spate, were now flowing below the danger mark.
The minister said the administration was keeping close vigil on embankments in the wake of high full moon tide Friday night.
The state government has announced a Rs.2 lakh compensation for the next of kin of the deceased.
(Posted on 18-10-2013)