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Flood eases, fear looms

Patna, Sept. 5: The overall flood situation eased a bit today though people in north Bihar fear a possible cloudburst leading to an “Uttarakhand-like” situation.

The weathermen said districts in north and east Bihar may see moderate to heavy rain for some days after September 8. “For the past two days, the trough line has consistently remained at the foothills of the Himalayas, along the Bihar-Nepal border. If this position persists for another five-seven days, very heavy downpour is expected in Nepal and districts bordering it in north and east Bihar. In such a situation, the rivers flowing from Nepal would bring heavy rainwater to Bihar, flooding the Kosi region. We’ve alerted the state government,” India Meteorological Department director Ashish Sen said.

Principal secretary, disaster management, Vyasji, dismissed speculation of a cloudburst but conceded heavy rain was predicted and the chief secretary would hold video-conference with district magistrates and commissioners to review arrangements.

Divisional commissioner, Bhagalpur (also in-charge of Munger), Minhaj Alam, said chief secretary A.K. Sinha had intimated him of a possible cloudburst-like situation in which over 300mm heavy rainfall is recorded. If that happens the flood situation could worsen not only in this region but also in Kosi and Seemanchal.

Rain-fed rivers would offload additional water into the Ganga, already above danger mark, breaking previous water level records.

Alam instructed districts magistrates in the two divisions to start evacuation operations on a war footing. Reports from Naugachia said floodwaters of the Kosi were entering from Kharni stream near Korchakka, threatening the town.

The state government claims all rivers except the Ganga were below danger level. The Ganga remains above danger mark in Bhagalpur, Buxar and Patna. Patna DM N. Saravana Kumar maintained there was no danger to Patna. Central Water Commission sources said the Ganga was flowing at 39.79m today, showing a receding tendency. With waters receding, flood victims in Munger blocked roads against irregularities in relief distribution.