Floodwater enters new areas in Bihar, mass evacuation underway

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Patna, Aug 28 : Following heavy rains in catchments areas of Nepal, Flood water is entering new areas of worst hit Madhepura, Supaul and Araria districts of Bihar.

After discharge of one lakh sixty-five thousand cusec of water from river Kosi, the flood situation in Kosi region has deteriorated, triggering mass evacuation in the region.

About one lakh marooned people have been evacuated so far, bulk of them by government boats and many on their own. Four helicopters and 200 country boats are working overtime to ferry the men and material to safe destinations.

Almost half of Madhepura town is under water. Over ten lakh people are still trapped between the old and the new stream of the river Kosi. Relief and rescue operations have been hampered due to inclement weather.

Urging people to cut their losses and leave with their cattle, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has appealed to inhabitants of the flood-affected areas to shift to safer, more secure places or the relief camps set up by the State Government.

He has sought a central assistance of Rs.1,000 crore and one lakh tonnes of foodgrains, preferably rice.

The Chief Minister met President Pratibha Patil and Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on Wednesday and apprised them of the hardships being faced by lakhs of people in the districts bordering Nepal and the steps taken by the State Government to plug the breach in the east Kosi afflux embankment.

The Prime Minister assured him of all help, Nitish Kumar told reporters after the meeting.

Meanwhile, Dr Singh will undertake an aerial survey of flood-affected areas of the state today. After a day-long aerial survey, he is scheduled to review the relief and rescue measures launched by the State Government at a high-level meeting with senior officials.

The flood have affected 15 districts, Muzaffarpur, Patna, Katihar, Nalanda, West Champaran, Khagaria Sheikhpura, Purnia, Saran, Begusarai, Bhagalpur, Supaul, Saharsa, Madhepura and Araria.

With the Kosi River continuing to unleash its fury in Bihar districts bordering Nepal, over 20 lakh people are bearing the brunt of floods. The Army was called out to help the marooned people.

According to the Central Water Commission, the Kosi, Ganga, Ghaghra, Punpun and Burhi Gandak were flowing above the danger level at several places along their course.

Train services have been completely disrupted in Madhepura and Araria. NH0-106 and 107 connecting India and Nepal have been completely separated.

The Bihar State Electricity Board has snapped supply in Supaul, Saharsa and Madehepura to avoid the possibility of short circuit.

ANI

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