Flood victims migrate to safety in Bihar

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Madhepura (Bihar), Aug 30 : Even as the Indian army is speeding up its rescue operations in the flood-hit areas of Bihar, residents in Madhepura district have started migrating on their own, to safer areas along with their belongings.

Over 125,000 people have been reportedly evacuated from the flood hit areas so far. There are a million others who are still awaiting relief across over 15 districts presenting a very grim situation.

Officials said that bad weather and strong currents were preventing them from providing aid to remote areas. But villagers are not amused by this and have started helping themselves.

"We are going to a safer place. We need a dry place," said Imtiaz, a flood victim.

The flooding, the worst in 50 years, was caused after the Kosi river breached a dam in Nepal from where it originates, unleashing huge waves of water that smashed mud embankments downstream in Bihar.

The waters of Kosi, known as Bihar''s ''river of sorrow'' for its regular floods and tendency to change course, gushed into the state inundating vast areas and affecting around two million people.

Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh announced an assistance of rupees ten billion to Bihar for rescue and relief operations and 125,000 tonnes of food grains for the flood hit Bihar on Thursday.

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