| Residents walk through a flooded highway at Daniawa in Patna on Tuesday. Picture by Ranjeet Kumar Dey |
Flood continued to wreak havoc for the fifth consecutive day on Tuesday claiming 16 lives across Bihar so far.
The flood has affected lives of over 14 lakh people. The number of flood-affected districts has also gone up, as two new districts — Khagaria and Nawada — are now in the grip of flood because of swollen rivers.
Now 15 districts, situated on the north and south of Ganga, have been declared flood-hit.
“The toll has increased to 16 with fresh cases of death being reported from Patna (1), Darbhanga (2) and Nalanda (4). Apart from this, two new districts, Khagaria and Nawada are now in the grip of flood,” said Anirudh Kumar, the officer on special duty, disaster management department.
The already affected districts include Patna, Saharsa, Supaul, West Champaran, Madhubani, Darbhanga, Muzaffarpur, Sitamarhi and Nalanda.
The disaster has destroyed crop worth Rs 14.63 crore in two districts — Saharsa and Muzaffarpur — and damaged 2,184 houses.
“More three lakh people have been affected, as the number stood at 11 lakh till Monday. Around 689 villages have been affected, out of which 396 are surrounded with water. Nalanda tops the list with 177 villages,” Anirudh said.
With the help of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) nearly 50,000 people have been evacuated out which 39,000 have been kept in 108 relief camps. ¯
In Patna, six blocks have been declared flood-hit. This includes Belchi, Pandarak, Athmangola, Daniawa, Barh and Bakhtiyarpur.
Patna district magistrate Manish Kumar Verma said: “Sixteen blocks have been fully affected and four are partially-hit. We are doing our best as far as rescue and relief operation is concerned. Five relief camps are being set up in the affected areas and 39 boats have been put to service for the relief operation. The disaster management department is dedicated towards their duty and no negligence would be accepted.”¯
No case of fresh breach of embankment has come to light.
On the fifth consecutive day, NDRF teams distributed relief materials to flood-affected people. Till now, 390 quintals of bitten rice and 42 quintals of jaggery have been distributed among the affected people.
According to the central water commission, Mahananda is no more flowing above the danger mark. Bagmati, Gandak , Kamla Balan, Ganga and Adhwara are still above the danger level.