HISTORY OF NATURAL DISASTERS

The District of North 24-Parganas came into being on 1st March, 1986 with the bifurcation of the erstwhile 24-Parganas District into North 24-Parganas and South 24-Parganas Districts. Sundarban is situated at the confluence of river Ganga and Brahmaputra with the Bay of Bengal. Part of Sunderban area is annexed to the District of North 24-Parganas. which covers 6 (six) Blocks viz Sandeshkhali-I, Sandeshkhali-II, Hingalganj, Haroa, Minakhan and Hasnabad. These blocks are surrounded by tidal rivers such as the Ichhamati, Bidyadhari, Kulti, Dansa, Raymangal etc. besides being crisscrossed by numerous creeks and channels.

In past, this district was hit by natural hazards in many occasions. The hazards include Cyclone, Storm Surge, Flood, Earthquake etc. of medium to large intensities. Some instances are mentioned below.

1981

Earthquake of magnitude 4.9 on Richter scale shook north of Sundarban on 26th March (Epicenter Latitude 22.3, Longitude 89.1).

1983

Tornado at Gaighata Development Block.

1988

Very severe Cyclone at Hingalganj Development Block.

1995

Breech of embankment on 15th & 16th May in Basirhat Sub-Division. 1077 nos. houses were fully and 496 houses were partly damaged.

1996

Heavy rainfall occurred on 27th and 28th of October with consequent breach of embankment in Basirhat Sub-Division. 48 nos. of houses were fully damaged.

1998

Flood in Bongaon Sub-Division due to incessant rains and over flow of river Ichhamati. Dates of occurrence were 14.08.98 & 15.08.98. Total 60.30 Sq.km. area and 96.700 people were affected. 10,059 nos. houses were affected out of which 3,457 were fully damaged. 18,483 persons were rescued and sheltered in 112 Relief Camps. Cyclone of high magnitude severely affected 466 Sq. km of area in 10 Blocks and 2 Municipalities. No. of Cattle lost was 773. 2,16,622 people were affected by the calamity.

1999

The district was affected by Drought during May &  June, 1999. Rainfall up to April, 1999 was only 6.5 mm. In the district 7 lakh people, 1,37,887nos. Livestock were affected and from 4% to 40% Boro paddy was lost. Due to heavy rainfall from 21to 24.09.1999, a vast area of 14 (fourteen) blocks and 12(twelve) Municipalities in all the 5 (five) Sub-divisions of the district were water-logged. 4, 50,000 people were affected.

2000

Unprecedented incessant heavy shower from 17.09.2000 to 21.09.2000 followed by very high discharge from the dams and barrages caused huge flood all over the state having highest intensity in about last two centuries. The water level of Churni rose to an unprecedented 11 m against highest recorded level of 9.798 m in 1978. A vast area of Bongaon Sub-Division and part of Barasat (Sadar) and Basirhat Sub-Division were inundated some places for more than a fortnight. The year 2000 may be designated as the year of the worst precipitation in terms of quantum, intensity and duration. More than 960 Sq. km. areas were affected in the district causing damages to houses, crops, school buildings etc. More than 19 lakhs people were affected and 2,65.000 houses were destroyed or damaged. 652 mouzas were declared as flood affected. Total financial loss was Rs. 62,207 lakh.

2001

There was a severe Thunder Storm on 20.05.2001 at Gaighata Block under Bongaon Sub-Division. The most affected G.P.s was Jaleswar-II . Duma and Dharampur-I. 4 (four) human lives were lost.

2002

On 25.05.2002 embankment of Bermajur G.P. on river Choto Kalagachi under Sandeshkhali-II block breached affecting 2,500 people. A severe cyclonic storm passed over Sandeshkhali-I, Sandeshkhali-II, Hingalgunj and Minakhan blocks on 11.11.2002 affecting 5483 nos. of people. 195 no. of houses were destroyed and 731 were damaged due to the calamity. The event of crop area damaged was 644.30 hec. Money value of which was Rs. 5,56,82,000/-. There was a very severe cyclonic storm on 03.04.2002 at 3AM in Bongaon Sub-division. About 65,000 people were affected. 3(three) human lives were lost in Bongaon block and 5 (five) Goats and 1025 Poultry were lost. The extent of damage caused to power and Housing Sector was Rs. 8.5 lakh and 253 lakh respectively.

2003

Consequent upon the development of low pressure in the Bihar Plateau Region, the South Bengal districts including North 24-Parganas experienced heavy rainfall during the period from 16.10.03 to 10.10.03. Breach of embankments and erosion were reported from Hingalgunj, Sandeshkhali-I and Sandeshkhali-I blocks. Due to the calamity, 14 Blocks in North 24-Parganas district were severely affected. 5,10,958 nos. people were affected and 8,539 houses were fully and 15,131 were partly damaged. Losses in Crop sector and Fisheries sector were Rs.282.35 lakhs and 2303.28 lakhs respectively.

2004

Due to incessant rain during the period from 10.09.04 to 18.09.04 a vast area of Bongaon, Basirhat, Barrackpore and Barasat(Sadar) Sub-Division was water-logged. 8,89,283 people were affected. Agricultural loss was estimated to Rs. 6802.665 lakhs . 359 Mouzas were declared as Flood affected. 18384 dwelling houses were destroyed and 56,865 were damaged in Urban and Municipal areas. 

There was a violent storm on 06.10.04 at 12 noon over paruipara, Biswaspara and Angrail within the jurisdiction of Jhowdanda Gram Panchayat under Gaighata block. Two persons were seriously injured and admitted to Hospital. 29 houses were destroyed.

2006

Due to incessant rainfall vast area of Basirhat, Bongaon, part of Barasat and Barrackpore Sub-division were affected. 8 persons died due to natural calamity during the year 2006.

2007

This District was affected in two phases due to incessant rainfall in 2007. Average rainfall was 1380 mm. Many people were affected.

2008

During the year 2008 this District was affected in different occasions by incessant rain with storm (16.09.2008, 26.09.2008, 25.10.2008). About 74,000 people were affected during the above calamities.

2009

On 25 May, Cyclone AILA hit costal Bengal with a maximum wind speed of 120 kmph affecting over 1.5 million people.

The Situation Report (State Govt.)
Cyclone AILA which hit coastal West Bengal on 25 May, 2009 is described as one of the worst storms to hit the state in many years. Over 5.1 million people have been affected in 16 districts of West Bengal. The damage impact assessment carried out by the government of West Bengal and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) reported considerable deaths, of which 25 were caused by a landslide in Darjeeling. Over 500,000 houses were damaged either fully or partially. The storm was especially devastating for farmers who were preparing to harvest rice and other crops. According to media sources, the Sundarbans national reserve forest was worst-hit, as many as three million people lived in the forests. Government rescue operations are underway, with approximately 60,000 people have been rescued and accommodated in government relief camps. Local media reports also indicate that food packets have been dropped by military helicopters in the affected areas.

The Damages due to AILA Cyclone in Basirhat Subdivision only

Sl.

No.

Description of Affect

Numbers

01

Blocks affected

10 (all)

02

Municipalities affected

3 (all)

03

Villages affected

857

04

People affected

677662

05

Crop area damaged

16210 ha

06

Value of crop damaged

42.49 crore

07

House damaged / destroyed

Fully 90,748, Partly 48,315

08

Embankments damaged

45.5 km

09

Panchayat Property damaged

15.55 crore

10

Road Damaged

111 km (Value 11.1 crore) 13