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|March 25, 1998||
Tornado toll claims 83 lives in Bengal
With the recovery of more bodies, the toll in Tuesday's killer tornado that left a trail of destruction in Dantan area of coastal Midnapore district rose to 83 today, West Bengal Irrigation Minister Debabrata Bandopadhyay informed the state assembly.
Making a suo motu statement in response to persistent demands by members for information, Bandopadhyay said Dantan and Egra bore the brunt of the devastation. Most of the victims belonged to these two areas.
He said rescue and relief operations had been launched on a war footing to find more victims trapped under the debris. Four state ministers -- Panchayat Minister Surya Kanta Mishra, Health Minister Partha De, Water Resources Minister Nandagopal Bhattacharya and Relief Minister Satya Ranjan Mahato -- had left for the spot last night itself to coordinate the relief and rescue operations, while Minister of State for Irrigation and Waterways Ganesh Mondal left early today.
Several well-equipped medical teams comprising doctors, para-medical staff and nurses had been despatched to the affected zones to cope with the emergency situation, Bandopadhyay said. Moreover, hundreds of the injured were being treated at different hospitals in Kharagpur and Belda areas.
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