Lightning killed four people in Kolkata and surrounding North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal, while the authorities issued a flood alert Monday for people residing in low-lying areas and the coastal region following recent heavy rains.
Normal life was thrown haywires following a sudden spate of heavy rains that uprooted trees and lamp posts in Kolkata and adjoining areas, officials said.
Three school students died when they were struck by lightning at Deganga in neighbouring North 24 Parganas district, said control room sources said. Another succumbed at Durgapur Math , an officer manning the city police control room reported.
A student was injured after a tree fell in Jadavpur University's Salt Lake campus.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee held a high-level meeting at the assembly to take stock of the situation and take preventive measures. Senior ministers and bureaucrats were present.
State Chief Secretary Sanjay Mitra later told reporters that people residing in the low lying areas have been asked to remained vigilant. Fishermen in the coastal region have been advised not to venture into the sea.
Mitra said disaster management teams and dry food and water pouches were being sent to the districts where there were apprehensions of floods.
The state government has requested the central government to inform it in advance about release from water reservoirs in neighbouring Jharkhand.
The city recorded 19.5 mm rainfall over 24 hours till 5.30 p.m. Monday which led to many lamp posts and trees getting uprooted blocking some throughfares. Water-logging was reported in a few areas.
Policemen were seen supervising disposal of uprooted trees in major arterial stretches like E.M. Bypass, Ultadanga flyover and in roads in the satellite township of Salt Lake.
According to a senior weather official, there is a "strong possibility" of thunder showers Tuesday due to a depression over the Bay of Bengal.
"A low pressure area is forming over the Bay of Bengal and majority of districts of the state will receive heavy rainfall tomorrow (Tuesday)," an official of the Alipore Met department said.