The relief for the receding Ganga was short-lived owing to the Met department’s forecast of havoc rain in north Bihar and Nepal on Saturday.
Chief minister Nitish Kumar said the chief secretary would hold a meeting with officials concerned on ways to combat the rain. “We will prepare for possible heavy rain in Nepal and north Bihar,” he said, adding that the state faces the dual problems of flood and drought.
According to Patna Met office director Ashish Sen, a block in Kishanganj received 280mm rain on Friday. “From tomorrow (Saturday), more north Bihar districts will witness havoc rain,” he said. He explained: “Havoc rain is defined as extremely heavy rain — more than 130mm in 24 hours. It is usually seen in the Northeast.
Chief minister Nitish Kumar, back from an aerial survey of flood-affected districts on Friday, said: “We have to be prepared for it. We cannot ignore the warning,” adding that the India Meteorological Department had predicted havoc rain and not cloudbursts. Later, Nitish held a video conference with district magistrates of flood-hit districts and instructed them to make an estimate of the damage caused.
Nitish said the Centre would send three battalions of the National Disaster Response Force to Bihar. “We are sending a daily report to the Centre,” he said.
Flood expert Dinesh Mishra said: “There is nothing the state or the central governments can do if havoc rain occurs in Nepal and north Bihar. Floods will occur in such a case. The government should concentrate on moving people to safer places. Adequate number of boats should be pressed into service to carry out rescue work.”