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Rain fury continues in Rajasthan, WB

July 07, 2007 22:20 IST

Eight persons went missing on Saturday when their vehicle fell into a rain-swollen river in Rajasthan even as the flood situation in West Bengal worsened raising the toll to 27.

The incident occurred when the vehicle, a make-shift tractor for countrywork, fell into rain-swollen Thapi river in Jhalawar district, about 325 kms from Jaipur, officials said.

While 10 passengers have been rescued, 14 swam to safety. The fate of eight others is not known.

In Jodhpur district, the Army was alerted and IAF helicopters were kept on stand by as cracks developed in in the main wall of 118-year-old Jaswant Sagar dam following heavy rains in its catchment areas, threatening lakhs of people in 39 villages.

Authorities asked people in the danger zone to shift to safer areas.

Chief Minister Vasudhara Raje visited the dam area for an on-the-spot assessment. Army personnel and engineers of the irrigation department were at the site for repairs.

The flood situation in rain-battered West Midnapore and East Midnapore districts in West Bengal worsened due to rise in levels of major rivers and discharge from overflowing reservoirs. The death toll in these areas has been put at 27.

Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, who toured the affected areas, said Army units and Air Force helicopters were carrying out rescue and relief operations in Ghatal, Sabong, Sankrail and Keshiary. An estimated 43 lakh people in eight districts of the state have been hit by the floods.
 
Torrential downpour submerged vast regions in Orissa's Balasore and Bhadrak districts affecting around five lakh people following heavy floods in Subarnarekha and Baitarani rivers.

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