Fresh areas come under grip of flood fury, toll rises to 73

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Patna, Aug 29 (UNI) With fresh areas in Purnia, Saharsa and Madhepura coming into the grip of the turbulent Kosi, the state government was facing the daunting task of evacuating flood victims to safer places, while the toll in the calamity increased to 73.

With reports of 16 more deaths - six from Madhepura, four each in Katihar and Araria and two in Supaul - the toll rose to 73.

In Madhepura district, about four to eight ft flood water was flowing, while the local administration had appealed to the people to evacuate as the state government was providing the necessary mode of transportation for the purpose.

Some jail birds, who had managed to escape from the Virpur jail in Supaul taking advantage of its inundation, returned to the jail on their own as they felt it was better to live behind the bars rather struggling for food and shelters in flooded areas.

The situation is likely to worsen further as the Met office predicted heavy rains in the flood-affected areas during the next 24 hours.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said evacuation of the trapped people was a tough job as the water had spread in 35 to 40 km area.

Meanwhile, an all party meeting was held here during the day under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister in which it was decided that an all party monitoring committee would supervise the ongoing rescue and relief opertation in the districts of Bihar.

After the meeting, Mr Kumar said apart from assisting in the operation, the committee would meet regularly in every 15 days to keep vigilant eyes on the ongoing relief measures.

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