Flood Situation in Bihar
Death toll rises upto around 2000 (unofficial)
PATNA: There was no let-up in flood fury in 14 Bihar districts with the swollen Bagmati river breaching its embankment in the worst-hit Darbhanga district, inundating large areas of the adjoining Samastipur district.
Nearly seven million people are reeling under the impact of the annual scourge in Sitamarhi, Saharsa, East Champaran, Darbhanga, Patna, Supaul, Bhagalpur, West Champaran, Katihar, Madhubani, Samastipur, Sheohar and Nalanda districts, disaster management department officials said.
According to a Darbhanga report, the Bagmati river has breached its embankment near Jathmalpur, flooding the vast countryside at Dholi, Pusa and Kalyanpur blocks of Samastipur.
District Magistrate Upendra Sharma has extended the closure of all educational institutions till August 14 in view of the alarming situation.
Essential supplies, including LPG, vegetables, petrol and diesel have also been badly hit in the area.
The district administration has banned the sale of motor fuels without a permit from the district supply officer in order to stock reserves of petrol and diesel for vehicles to be used for flood-fighting and relief operations.
As Darbhanga remained cut off from the rest of the state, thousands of people have taken shelter on National Highway 57, connecting it with Muzaffarpur as also on Darbhanga-Samastipur road.
A number of shops selling grocery, cooked food and even haircutting saloons have come up on these highways.
According to state water resources department sources, the swollen Kareh river breached its embankment at two places in Samastipur district early morning, inundating vast areas in Darbhanga, Samastipur and Begusarai districts.
Officials say the flooding is the worst in 50 years to hit the region, and there are fears that the death toll will rise further.
The central government has announced a $228m (£125m) relief package and some 125,000 tonnes of grain for those affected by the disaster.
Rescuers are using hundreds of boats to shift people to some 100 relief camps, amid fears that water-borne disease may be spreading.
At least 90,000 people have been rescued, but many thousands remain stranded, officials say.
The flooding began after the Kosi River – known as the River of Sorrow – breached its banks, sending huge waves of water through a channel it had previously abandoned.
At least 55 people have died and some two million others have fled their homes after massive floods hit India’s eastern state of Bihar, local officials say.