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10 May 2018

Lightning kills four

An uprooted tree in Alipurduar on Wednesday.Picture by Anirban Choudhury 

SNS, 9 May 2018, Alipurduar : Four persons, including a woman, were killed when heavy thunderstorm lashed some districts in north Bengal, which also destroyed at least 2500 mud houses this morning.
Two of the deceased were residents of Cooch Behar, while the other two hailed from Alipurduar district, it is learnt.
The dead have been identified as Nirmal Das, 58, Binod Oraon, 45, Mahesh Barman, 35 and Jaleswari Barman, 52. Nirmal and Binod lived in the same village at Laskar Para in Kumargram block in Alipurduar district while Mahesh lived at Patoaripur village under the Mathahhanga sub-division in Cooch Behar, and Jaleswari Barman was a resident of Batri Godge village under the Dinhata sub-division of Coaoch Behar, it is learnt,
"Nirmal was killed when lightning struck him down as he went out to graze his cow in a field near his house. His wife had died in lightning on the same spot the previous year," local sources said. The three others also died when lightning struck them at their houses.
The storm started at 7:45 am and hit the district in two phases in a gap of about 10 minutes. It lasted nearly 30 minutes, while it left a trail of destruction in two blocks-Kumar gram and Alipurduar II in the district.
"Almost 1200 houses were damaged and 400 trees were uprooted in the storm. Many electricity poles also fell down. Nearly 1300 houses were damaged in Mathabhanga and Dinhata subdivisions of Cooch Behar district. Traffic in the towns was badly hit as trees and electricity poles fell on the roads,' sources said,"
"We have started estimating the loss in the storm. Relief work has started," said the BDO, Alipurduar block-II, Biman Chandra Das.
"It is a seasonal thunderstorm. We call it Kalboishakhi locally. The storm hit Alipurduar district and some parts of JaJpaiguri and Siliguri." said the head of the department of geography, North Bengal University, Subir Sarkar.

TT, May 10, 2018, Four persons were killed by lightning when a storm hit Cooch Behar and Alipurduar districts on Wednesday morning. About 2,000 houses (mostly made of mud) and crops were damaged in the storm. 

Hundreds of trees were uprooted and electricity supply was also disrupted. 

L.T. Bhutia, the block development officer of Kumargram in Alipurduar, said: "Nirmal Das, 52, and Bimal Oraon, 45, died when they went out to bring cattle from fields at Laskarpara. Not less than 500 houses were damaged in the block although the final assessment is yet to be made." 
The other deceased were from Cooch Behar - Mahesh Barman, 32, of Gopalpur and Jaleswari Barman, 52, of Dinhata. The storm started around 7am and lasted for 20 minutes.

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