North Bihar flood remains grim, toll increases to 47

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Patna, Aug 26 (UNI) The overall flood situatiuon in north Bihar continued to be critical today with most of major rivers, including the Kosi, Gandak and the Ganges, flowing over the danger mark creating havoc in large areas and claiming 47 lives so far.

Official sources from eleven flood-affected district headquarters here today informed that in spite of no rain during the past two days, all the major rivers, including the Kosi, Gandak, Mahananda, Kamala Balan and the Burhi Gandak, maintained their rising trend and were flowing much above the red mark for about a week now following the release of water from the lower regions of Nepal.

The breach of embankments of the Kosi, Gandak and a number of other rivers passing through north Bihar had deteriorated the situation further besides damaging standing crops in thousands of acres of land in the worst-affected Madhepura, Supopul, West Champaran and Samastipur districts.

The mighty Ganges, also flowing above the danger mark, had submerged large human habitation in Bhagalpur, Katihar and Munger districts among others.

Of the total 47 deaths so far, maximum 22 people had lost their lives in Madhpura, followed by nine in Supaul, six in Bhagalpur, four in West Champaran and three each in Samastipur and Purnea districts, the sources said.

A total population of over four million had so far been affected in the current flood fury, while about 500,000 people, who were rendered homeless, had taken shelter in more than 50 relief camps in safer areas, the sources said.

Three IAF helicopters made several sorties today to continue air-dropping of food packets and other relief materials in flood -affected areas of Madhepura, Saharsa, Samastipur, Supaul and Bhagalpur districts.

More than 100 boats had also been pressed into service for the same purpose by the district administration.

Meanwhile, JD(U) president Sharad Yadav today made an aerial survey of the flood-hit areas of Madhepur district and urged the district authorities to speed up their relief operation.

He also promised to take up the issue with the Central leaders on his return to new Delhi and would demand financial and other assistance to deal with the annual menace.

Eds: Here pick up suitably from earlier Flood Bihar series.

UNI ABA SJC RN1906

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