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Kolkata: On the day two of the arrival of monsoon in Bengal, a heavy thundershower submerged several arterial roads in Kolkata while lightning has claimed nine people in the districts.

The lightning also paralysed the railways’ passenger reservation system in Kolkata for nearly four hours, bringing train tickets booking to a halt both at the counters and on IRCTC website.

The thundershower lashed over most parts of the state around 3 in the afternoon. This gave people the much-needed relief from scorching heat but the accompanying lightning claimed nine lives in six districts.

One people each has died in North 24-Parganas, Hooghly, East Midnapore, Birbhum, and Jhargram. In Bankura, the lightning claimed four people including a mother-daughter duo.

Lakshmi Majhi and her teenage daughter Payel were herding their cattle home at Rajgram village under Joypur police station area that the lightning struck them. They were declared dead on being taken to a local hospital.

Around the same time, at Choumura village under Onda police station area, farmer Abdul Khaleq died on being struck by lightning while he was working in his paddy-field. Another farmer, Ranjit Das died at Nityanandapur village under Sonamukhi police station area.

In Kolkata, no lightning-related deaths have been reported today but the heavy rains from 3-4 pm in the afternoon left several arterial roads inundated. This includes Sarat Bose Road, Camac Street, Kalighat, Rashbehari Avenue Deshapriya Park, Central Avenue, EM Bypass Parama Xing, etc.

Dufferin Road near Esplanade remained closed to traffic for some time after a tree collapsed due to the strong winds. Kolkata Municipal Corporation said that it rained about 80 mm during the one hour. At Ballygunge it rained 84 mm, at Joka 58 mm, at Behala 55 mm, and at Patuli 46 mm.

The entire railway passenger reservation system in Kolkata went out of order from 3.45 – 7.20 pm after lightning struck the main servers. Railway officials said that such a massive disruption in the PRS due to lightning has happened for the first time in the recent years.

Alipore Weather Observation Centre has issued a warning for very heavy rainfall of up to 200 mm in the next 24-hours at isolated places in all over the state, especially in north Bengal. It will be accompanied by thunderstorm and lightning.

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