In India, floods which have been described as the worst this century have left in their wake destruction, famine, disease and millions of homeless people.
SV PAN Broken-down road bridge
SV Workmen moving girder
SV People crossing over makeshift bridge
CU PAN Broken bridge over river
SV PAN Flooded houses along riverside (2 shots)
SV PAN Rail line alongside river
SV & GV Washed away rail embankment (2 shots)
SV Refugees walking along washed-away rail
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: In India, floods which have been described as the worst this century have left in their wake destruction, famine, disease and millions of homeless people. Relief for out-lying areas has been hindered by cut communications.
SYNOPSIS: To aid the transport of relief supplies to remote areas of West Bengal the authorities have given a high priority to the restoration of vital road and rail links. This one, a road bridge at Jambaria in the Howrah district, is to be replaced by a new bridge nearby. This picture of damaged road and rail links is repeated throughout West Bengal, hindering refugees returning to their homes.
The breaches in one major highway were repaired for a period, allowing medical and building supplies and food to flow. But the route was again cut by a wash-out, and the free passage of supplies was further interrupted. Refugees making the difficult return journey to their homes find many of them still awash.
The second of two major flash floods cut rail links and caused suspension of all services. Trunk route trains diverted and the receding flood-waters revealed extensive undermining and wash-outs. Repairs were started, but the work was halted by a dispute over the employment of casual labour, leaving the railway still impassable.
The disruption of transport and communications is just one way in which normal life has been fractured for the flood-hit refugees of West Bengal.