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Guv, CM Visit Storm-Hit Areas Of North Bengal; Damage Evaluation Underway

At least five people died and over 200 were rendered homeless, after a sudden storm and heavy rain wreaked havoc in Jalpaiguri town and its surrounding areas on Sunday.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee
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West Bengal Governor C V Ananda Bose and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday visited the storm-hit areas of Alipurduar and assured those affected of all possible help in relief and rehabilitation.

At least five people died and over 200 were rendered homeless, after a sudden storm and heavy rain wreaked havoc in Jalpaiguri town and its surrounding areas on Sunday.

Banerjee had rushed to the northern districts of the state on Sunday night, and visited the hospital where the injured are undergoing treatment. She also spoke to the family members of those killed in the storm. 

Bose, who reached Jalpaiguri early this morning, also took stock of the situation and visited the families affected by the storm.  

"The administration has extended all possible help to those who have been affected. I laud them for promptly setting up relief camps after the disaster. I would also like to thank the MLAs and other leaders for their active involvement in addressing the situation," the chief minister said.

The CM also said she was shocked by the degree of devastation due to the sudden storm.  

Talking to PTI, a senior official of the West Bengal disaster management department said at least 1,500 hutments and houses have been damaged in the storm, which rocked parts of Jalpaiguri, Alipurduar and a few places in Cooch Behar. 

“I will send my elected representatives to Kumargram tomorrow in Alipurduar district, where 220 relief camps have been set up," Banerjee said.

The governor, who visited Mainaguri to meet the families of the deceased and then the Jalpaiguri Medical College and Hospital, said: "I have been on conference-call with various officials, particularly those of the National Disaster Management Authority. The local MP has met me, too. He has demanded adequate compensation for the next of kin of those who died.”All the states are given an amount from the central disaster fund, but how it’s utilised depends on the particular state government, Bose said.

Asked about the compensation, Banerjee had on Sunday night said: "As the model code of conduct is in place, I can't say anything about it. You have to talk to the district administration."

"The evaluation of the damage will require some time, but going by the reports from the district administration, it seems to be a huge," the official added.

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