(Clockwise from top left) Residents of Adapur village in Raxaul travel on inundated roads after rivers in spate cross the danger mark in Nepal; floodwater flows next to a railway line towards East Champaran district; and flooded fields in Aurai, Muzaffarpur district. Pictures by Jai Prakash and Pankaj Kumar
Patna, Aug. 12: Two persons died as floodwater engulfed the entire Kishanganj district in Bihar today. Araria, Purnea, East Champaran, Muzaffarpur, Munger and Supaul districts have also been affected, bringing misery to lakhs of people, driving them away from their home and hearth.
The floods have claimed two lives in Kishanganj, and the situation is expected to worsen over the next 48 to 72 owing to heavy rainfall in the state and also in the catchment areas of rivers flowing in from Nepal.
Kishanganj deputy development commissioner (DDC) Ramji Sah told The Telegraph: "The situation is unprecedented and fearsome. All the seven blocks in the district have been affected. Floodwater is submerging roads and state highways at several places, hampering movement of people and cattle. Two persons have died in the district."
Ramji pointed out that the disaster had struck owing to very heavy rainfall in the district and also neighbouring Nepal for the past three days, which has made Mahananda, Kankai, Parman, Kol, Maichi and other rivers furious.
"We started rescue and relief operations and saved many. However, the floodwater level is so high and the current in the water is so strong that we have to stop our boats from plying to prevent any untoward incident. Relief camps have been started for those displaced," the Kishanganj DDC added.
The disaster management department has despatched National Disaster Response Force and State Disaster Response Force teams to Kishanganj and Purnea districts after receiving SOSes. They reached their destinations in the evening and started rescue and relief operations.
Department joint secretary Anirudh Kumar told The Telegraph: "We have sent three teams of NDRF and five of SDRF to Kishanganj, Purnea and Araria. Water-level of rivers in the area is rising rapidly owing to heavy rain in Nepal. We will start getting estimates of the affected populace by Sunday."
Residents of Dighalbank block in Kishanganj district along the India-Nepal district woke up in the small hours of Saturday by bellowing of cattle to find floodwater from Kankai river entering their homes. They rushed with their belonging to the main roads of the area only to find that the sharply rising water had submerged them.
Bakra and Noon rivers in Araria district are in spate and are continuously eroding the embankments constructed along them to contain them. Their water has spread in several villages. The situation in Purnea is worse with floods spreading in low-lying areas and threatening higher habitations.
Similarly, tributaries of Gandak river - Tilawe, Sariswa and others - have brought floods to Adapur block in East Champaran, submerging villages like Dhupwa Tola. Floodwater has spread across Aurai block and neighbouring areas in Muzaffarpur. The water level in Kosi, called the "Sorrow of Bihar", is also rising rapidly and is flowing above danger-level mark in Khagaria district. Rivers like Bagmati, Kamla Balan, Adhwara, Mahananda have crossed danger-level at several places in the state.