Flooding in the Sunderbans and neighbouring parts of South 24 Parganas district in the wake of cyclone Yaas has caused serious breach in embankments of forest camps in many areas that need immediate reconstruction, a West Bengal Forest Department report said.
Embankments of camps like Jhilla, Bidya, Chamta, Kakmari, Harikhali, Rampura have been either breached or these suffered severe damage, according to the preliminary report.
In the aftermath of the landfall and due to high tide, all the 18 land-based camps and four range office camps were submerged, some up to 10 feet, it said.
All the sweet water ponds, numbering 20, are now filled with salt water, it added. “Water level has remained at 2 feet in almost all the
beats even during low tide… and rose to 6 feet on May 27, 12 pm. This is likely to happen till May 29 as per forecast, hampering full-fledged rehabilitation operations,” an official said.
As part of other damages, the report said approximately one km earthen embankment of the Sundarban Wild Animal Park, along with two culverts were badly impacted, and the entire sanctuary is inundated.
Chief Wildlife Warden V K Yadav told PTI once the water level recedes, the department will be able to undertake a more detailed analysis of the extent of damage, and initiate measures to restore the facilities at the earliest.
Cyclone ‘Yaas’ rampaged through parts of India’s eastern coast on Wednesday, killing at least four people and forcing more than 21 lakh people to be evacuated to safe shelters in West Bengal, Odisha and Jharkhand.