‘Kalbaisakhi’ Wrecks Kolkata, Kills 2 Rowers After Boat Capsizes During Storm; Roads Blocked with Trees


A sudden gush of heavy nor’wester, locally known as Kalbaisakhi, killed two rowers performing sculling at the Rabindra Sarobar Lake and another man after a tree fell on him in Kolkata on Saturday.

The intense storm followed by heavy rainfall also disrupted flight operations at Kolkata’s Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose international airport for about an hour.

Kalbaisakhi is characterized by darkness during midday, and is a localized rainfall and thunderstorm even that brings showers for a short duration. It does, however, bring momentary relief from heat and humidity.

The case of drowning took place at 5.30 pm, when one of the five crew boats tumbled following a sudden gush of heavy wind. That boat was carrying four rowers. The water depth of the lake at the point where the boat tumbled was around 20 meters.

While two of the four rowers managed to swim to the shore, two others went missing. The divers from the state disaster management department fished out the bodies after a three-hour-long operation. Both the deceased, identified as Pushpen Sandhukha and Sourodeep Chatterjee, were in their teens.

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said the highest wind speed recorded was 90 kilometers per hour on Saturday.

Meanwhile in Sheoraphuli railway station, which is half an hour away from Kolkata, a fire broke out at after nor’wester destroyed the overhead wires. Besides, a telephone tower collapsed and fell on two buildings at the railway station.

The nor’wester lasted for about half an hour with gusty winds blowing at around 50 to 60 kilometers per hour with rainfall.

While traffic ran undisrupted, metro services were briefly affected after a tree fell on the UP line between Mahanayak Uttam Kumar and Netaji.

Crucial roads are left blocked after the storm fell trees in Alipore Road, Burdwan Road, Raja Santosh Roy Road, in front of Raj Bhavan, Rajen Dutt Road, Nilambar Mukherjee Road, Mahanirban Road, Jatin Das Road, Sukanta Bridge in Jadavpur, in front of Fort William and Fort William. A tree also fell in front of the residence of Deputy Mayor Atin Ghosh.

Meanwhile, three more nor’wester and lighting-related deaths have been reported from West Bengal, two in East Burdwan district and one in Hooghly district.

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