Bihar floods: Toll mounts to 153, over 1 crore people affected

By Hindustan Times on 19 Aug 2017 | read

The flood situation in Bihar seems to have worsened further, with the toll mounting to 153. Seven out of 11 major rivers, other than the Ganga, Burhi Gandak, Bhutahi Balan and Laloakeya, continued to flow above their danger levels affecting more than one crore in the state. 

The floods, triggered by heavy rain in Nepal and northern parts of the state, spread to three more districts taking the number of blocks affected to 156 across 19 out of 38 districts of the state. 

The toll due to the floods was 119 on Friday and the number of those hit by the disaster was pegged at 98 lakh. The only silver lining is that all flood protection embankments are safe as of now.

According to additional secretary of disaster management department Anirudh Kumar, maximum deaths were reported in Araria (30), followed by West Champaran (23), Sitamarhi (13), Kishanganj, Supaul and East Champaran (11 each), Madhepura and Purnia (9 each), Madhubani (8), Katihar (7), Darbhanga, Gopalganj and Saharsa (4 each), Khagaria and Sheohar (3 each), Saran (2) and Muzaffarpur (1). 

Keeping a close watch on the situation, chief minister Nitish Kumar convened a high-level review meeting to direct road construction department to restore the Kishanganj-Araria road link before midnight so that relief and rescue operations could be carried out on a war footing in the worst affected Araria district. 

He also asked RCD officials to seek help from the Border Road Organisation for the restoration and repair of damaged roads and bridges on a priority basis. 

On an immediate basis, the chief minister said the disaster management department should carry out an intensive operation for airdropping food packets in Jokihat, Sikti, Kursakanta and Palasi areas of Araria district to provide succour to marooned families. 

In view of the gravity of the situation in Purnia division, the principal secretary of agriculture department, Sudhir Kumar has been sent as special divisional commissioner to streamline relief operations. 

DMD sources said that altogether 1,289 relief camps have been set up to accommodate 3,92,654 displaced people. A total of 4,64,610 persons have been evacuated from their habitat. Cattle deaths have also gone up to 27. 

Twenty-eight teams of NDRF along with SDRF (16) and Army (7), with 280 boats at their disposal are conducting the relief operations. Two choppers have also been pressed into service in addition to 194 motorboats and 2305 country boats by the state government.