| Displaced villagers of Aurai being fed on Monday. Picture by Lokesh Bihari |
Swollen rivers continued to wreck havoc for the fourth consecutive day on Monday, affecting the lives of over one million people in Bihar.
Four new districts — Sheohar, Araria, Gopalganj and Sheikhpura — have come in the grips of the flood. Around 40,000 people have been affected there. With these districts being affected, the calamity has now spread to 13 Bihar districts north and south of the Ganga. Other districts affected by the flood include Patna, Saharsa, Supaul, West Champaran, Madhubani, Darbhanga, Muzaffarpur, Sitamarhi and Nalanda.
The death toll in the floods has risen to nine. “No doubt the flood situation in the state is grim. But we are trying our level best to execute relief and rescue operations. Till yesterday, nearly 4 lakh people were affected but the latest figures suggest the number has gone up two-fold. Now, 11 lakh people have been affected in 13 districts, Nalanda being worst hit with 7.16 lakh people affected,” said Sunil Kumar, joint secretary, disaster management department.
A fresh case of breach in embankment came to light on Monday afternoon. A two-metre breach on the Hasanpur Dumaria embankment in Gopalganj inundated over 24 villages in Sidhwalia block. Breaches were also reported from an embankment in Ghanshyampur block of Darbhanga district and Bagha block of West Champaran district.
Joint secretary Sunil said: “Six people died in Nalanda alone. One death was reported from Sitamarhi and two more in Saharsa. Twelve National Disaster Response Force and four State Disaster Response Force teams have been deployed for rescue operations.”
NDRF teams also distributed relief material to flood-affected persons and organised a medical camp to give necessary medicine and treatment to needy persons.
About 1,763 houses were damaged after floodwaters entered 582 villages. In Supaul district, residents of Basantpur, Bhaptiyahi, Kishanpur, Marauna and Supaul blocks are partially trapped within the embankments. About 150 villages in Supaul went under water in the past four days. In Saharsa district, Nawhatta, Mahisi, Bakhtiyarpur and Salkhua blocks are inundated after about 3 lakh cusec was released from Birpur barrage.
Waters from the Bagmati, Gandak and Budhi Gandak rivers have spilled onto new areas in Aurai, Sahebganj and Katra and Gaighat blocks of Muzaffapur district. An estimated 25,000 families have been hit hard and rendered homeless. According to the Central Water Commission, six rivers — Bagmati, Gandak, Kamla Balan, Ganga, Adhwara and Mahadnanda — are flowing above danger mark.
“People residing in huts and thatched houses along the river have been asked to leave as the Budhi Gandak is rising,” Muzaffarpur district magistrate Anupam Kumar said.
Around 42,461 people have been evacuated. Of these, 13,111 have been sheltered at 76 relief camps. Now 649 boats are taking part in rescue operations. Water resources department public relation officer Arvind Kumar Singh said: “No report of any new breach in embankments had come across till evening.”