Patna, Aug 29: Continuing the rescue operations on war footing on Friday, Aug 29, the Army so far evacuated nearly 1.5 lakh people trapped in north Bihar following the catastrophic floods due to change in the course of river Kosi. State Disaster Management department principal secretary R K Singh said about 20 lakh people were marooned following inundation of large areas.
He said nearly 700 villages of Saharsa, Madhepura and Supaul districts were submerged and 900 boats had been pressed into service to evacuate the affected people.
Mr Singh informed that 100 relief camps were functioning round the clock where, besides relief material, the people were being given medical aid.
The administration of the flood affected districts had been put on high alert with a directive to be prepared round the clock to face any eventuality, Mr Singh said, adding that they had been asked to keep a close watch on the condition of the embankments in their jurisdiction.
Central Water Commission sources informed that the water level of river Kosi was increasing following heavy downpour in the catchment areas.
The flood situation in the affected areas further deteriorated as 1,91,800 cusec water was released in river Kosi following which the water level in the flooded areas rose by two feet.
The flood water inundated fresh areas of north Bihar where Saharsa, Supaul, Arariya and Madhepura were the worst-hit districts.
Meanwhile, the state government was holding an all-party meeting to discuss the situation and ensure effective coordinated relief and rescue operations in the flooded areas.
Earlier, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, after the aerial survey of the flood-affected areas along with UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil, Railway Minister Lalu Prasad, Union Minister Ramvilas Paswan and Leader of the Opposition in Bihar Assembly Rabri Devi, termed the flood fury as ''national disaster''.
He also announced an immediate relief package of Rs 1,000 crore for the state.
The Prime Minister also assured to send high capacity helicopters and 100 special motor boats of the Indian Air Force to evacuate the marooned people.
He also promised to immediately despatch 1.25 lakh tonnes of foodgrains for the victims.
Reports from Gonda said Colonelganj and Tarabganj were still affected from the severe flood situation. In the last 24 hours, four people died of wall-collapse and drowning. PAC and motor boats have been deployed to provide help to the people in the affected area. The flood-water has displaced all in all 5,000 families, who were now moving towards safer shelter. Heavy rainfall has also disrupted movement of train on Gonda-Melani and Gonda-Gorakhpur routes.
Four people reportedly died due to flood in Sultanpur.
Meanwhile, the stoppage of heavy rainfall has brought back scorching weather conditions in the state.
The state capital of Lucknow, Sitapur, Sultanpur, Lakhimpur Kheri and Ballia have been put into hyper-sensitive category with other flood-hit districts, including Bahraich, Balrampur, Barabanki, Gorakhpur, Kannauj, Deoria, Maharajganj, Rampur, Santkabirnagar, Farrukhabad, Shahajahanpur, Siddharthnagar, Unnao, Gonda, Azamagarh, Basti and Faizabad.
Vector-borne and infectious diseases like Japanese Encephalitis (JE), Brain Fever, Malaria, Jaundice and Diarrhoea have spread their jaws in Uttar Pradesh, especially easter parts of the state, as an after-effect of incessant rains.
Gorakhpur in East UP was the most affected by Japanese Encephalitis (JE) in the state and over 170 people have died over the same at the Baba Raghav Medical College.
A team of Centre for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention from US along with members of National Institute for Communicable Disease from New Delhi today visited the Baba Raghav Medical College to take stock of the JE ward and enquire the health of the patients.
In the last three decades, 90,000 people have come under the jaws of JE, while 20,000 have died. The endemic mostly affects the children.
The Central Water Commission reports stated that several rivers were still flowing above the danger mark.
In the last 24 hours, 1,25,000 cusec water was released from Narora, 125 cusecs from Fatehgarh, 123 cusec from Kannauj, 98.75 cusec from Kanpur, while 57.82 cusec was released from Ghazipur.
Gomti was overflowing by 90 cm in Sultanpur, while the river was 40 cm below the level in Lucknow.
River Sharda was 32 cm and 24 cm respectively above the level in Paliyakala and Shardanagar (both in Lakhimpur Kheri).
Ghagra was 36 cm above the mark in Elginbridge (Barabanki), while the river was overflowing by just two cm in Turtipar (Ballia).
Saryu was 59 cm above the red mark in Ayodhya, while Kuwano was 43 cm above the level in Chandradeepghat.
Budhi Rapti was 16 cm above the level in Kakrahi, while river Sai was four cm above the mark in Rae Bareli.