Storm disrupts road, rail, air services in Kolkata

Kolkata, April 17 (IANS) A storm, with maximum wind speed of 116 km per hour, hit Kolkata Wednesday evening disrupting normal life as road, rail and air services. Over 50 trees were uprooted and a number of wall collapse incidents were reported.

There were no human casualties.

The storm (locally called norwester which is common at this time of the year), uprooted trees blocking major thoroughfares while several incidents of wall collapse were reported, police said.

The storm triggered rains waterlogging several important roads. Power services were disrupted in some parts of south Kolkata as overhead cables snapped.

“The Norwester hit the city for five minutes between 7-15 pm and 7-20 pm. It’s highest wind speed was 116 km per hour,” an officer at the Regional Meteorological Office here told IANS.

Suburban train services were affected for over two hours on Sealdah Main and Sealdah South sections of Eastern railway as overhead wires snapped and trees fell on track, railway sources said.

Train services were also disrupted on Eastern Railway and South Eastern Railway’s Howrah division, the sources said.

Sources at the Subhas Chandra Bose international Airport said flight services were hit for an hour and five flights scheduled to land were asked to hover in the sky and later diverted to neighbouring states.

Three glass panels at the newly constructed terminal of the NSC Bose airport were also shattered.

“Two-three buildings have collapsed. We have got several reports of wall collapse. Over 50 trees were uprooted,” an officer at the city police control room told IANS.

The three-kilometre long AJC Bose flyover, as also many other roads, were waterlogged.

“The uprooted trees stalled traffic movement on many important thoroughfares in south Kolkata including Harish Mukherjee Road, AJC Bose Road, Deshapran Samal Road,, Kasba Connector and Paroma Island,” the police said.

Five people were rescued when a tree fell on a car in South Kolkata’s Charu Market area while a traffic signal post gave way on Lake Road.

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