Apprehensions of another deluge in Kosi, Army to speed up evacuation

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Patna, Sep 5 (UNI) With the turbulent Kosi and all other major rivers receding further today, the Army and the civil authorities intensified rescue and relief operations on a war footing.

Official sources said here today that the Army personnel were working round the clock to evacuate the remaining about one lakh marooned people from far flung areas of the worst affected Madhepura, Supoul, Araria and Purnia districts of north Bihar.

So far more than eight lakh people had been rescued and sent to over 350 relief camps, set up by the state administration, NGOs and other organisations outside the flooded areas with enough stocks of food, drinking water and medical assistance.

Official sources, quoting the state Disaster Management Department here, said more than 50 colums of Army and Navy jawans had been working round the clock to rescue lakhs of marooned people from the distant areas, bringing renewed hope for survival for most of the flood victims.

As many as 900 Army rescue boats, in addition to nearly 150 motor boats and over 1,500 countrymade boats, had been pressed into service for this massive rescue operation.

They said though most of the people from the affected areas had already been evacuated, about one lakh people, who could not be reached earlier because of the remoteness of their villages and for other reasons, were now being rescued and taken to the nearest relief camps.

The entire operation was expected to be completed by tomorrow in case the weather remained dry, the sources added.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, last night, made another appeal over the local station of the AIR to the remaining residents of Madhepura, Supoul and Araria towns to vacate their homes and leave for the relief camps without further delay.

He has made this appeal for the second time in a week in view of the possibility of a second round of deluge in these areas after reports of heavy rain in the catchment areas of the Kosi resulting into the release of more water into the rainfed river.

Incidentally, responding to his earlier appeal most of the people in these areas had already deserted their homes and took shelter in relief camps.

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