Patna, Oct. 15: Phailin made landfall in Odisha’s Gopalpur and triggered off widespread rainfall across Bihar, playing spoilsport for Dussehra revellers.
The rain has again raised fears of a second wave of floods in a state that had been inundated with water gushing out from the rain-fed rivers flowing in from north India in August and September. Chief minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday held a meeting with officials on dealing with the floods if the situation arose.
Phailin entered south Bihar on Sunday evening as a “depression” and caused moderate to heavy rainfall across the state during the next 48 hours.
R.K. Giri, scientist, India Meteorological Department (IMD) Patna, told The Telegraph on Tuesday: “We had earlier predicted that Phailin would move north-westward after making landfall on the Odisha coast and go towards northeast Madhya Pradesh and east Uttar Pradesh. However, it tilted north-eastward soon after landfall and took a steep turn towards Jharkhand-Bihar after entering Chhattisgarh.”
The north-easterly movement of Phailin led to “heavy to very heavy rainfall” in south and north Bihar, and moderate rainfall in central Bihar, including Patna.
“Though Phailin became very weak by Tuesday, its residual water vapour still persists in the upper level of the troposphere over Bihar. Thus, forecast of light to moderate rainfall has been issued for the state with heavy rainfall at isolated places in north Bihar during the next 36 hours,” Giri said.
The water level of most rivers has risen due to the incessant rain but they remain under the danger mark. Ashish Sen, director, IMD Patna, said that all river catchments received 80mm rainfall on an average during the past 48 hours. Water resources minister Vijay Kumar Choudhary held a review meeting on the status of the water level in the rivers yesterday. The minister has directed officials and engineers to keep a watch on the water level and keep all precautionary measures on standby.
Power supply in the entire state was also badly disrupted due to the heavy rain, coupled with high wind speed which caused trees to be uprooted and fall on the supply lines. Except for Patna, the entire state plunged into darkness for more than 36 hours. The worst hit places were Muzaffarpur, Chhapra, Siwan, Motihari, Darbhanga, Purnea, Bettiah and Bagaha where power supply remained snapped for more than 48 hours.
“The state withdrew around 600 to 700MW power on Monday due to disruption. But the situation improved on Tuesday as the power drawal from the central grid went up to 1,100MW,” Bihar State Power (Holding) Company Ltd deputy general manager (PR) H.R. Pandey said.
Seeds of vegetables and other crops have been damaged in the diara area where farmers had started work after the water level of the Ganga had receded.