" --IANS"
Kolkata, Aug 20 - The flood situation in northern West Bengal showed an overall improvement, barring Malda district where nearly five blocks were still inundated by the increasing water level of Mahananda river, the state government said on Sunday.

The condition of South and North Dinajpur districts, majorly affected in the latest flood, was becoming normal though some places in both districts continued to be waterlogged.

The flood situation in north Bengal is fast improving. However, the situation in Malda is still alarming as the water level of Mahananda is still on the rise. Five blocks in the district are submerged, state Irrigation Minister Rajib Banerjee told IANS.

Heavy downpour in Nepal and Bihar is further worsening the situation as the water released by them is entering Mahananda. The water level is increasing by one centimetre every hour, he added.

According to the district administration in Malda, nearly eight lakh people are affected by the flood.

The state Irrigation and Waterways Department said the Mahananda was flowing above 1.5 metre of the extreme danger level in the English Bazar area while some other rivers in the area have also breached the danger level.

More than 43,000 cusecs of water has been released by the Teesta barrage today (on Sunday) which is also contributing to the increasing water level, said an Irrigation Department official.

The government has opened a large number of temporary relief camps in Malda. The locals have also arranged relief camps and are supplying food and water to the flood victims in the remote areas of the district.

All the teachers in the region have come together putting aside their caste, creed and political differences and are cooking food for the flood victims. We are also supplying the food to the remote areas with the help of district administration, said a member of a teacher's association in Malda, now busy distributing relief materials.

--IANS

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