Relief and rescue operation continues in flood-affected Bihar

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Purnia (Bihar), Sep 1 : The army and navy stepped up its efforts on Monday to rescue hundreds of thousands of people who were marooned by floods and facing severe shortages of food in Bihar's Purnia District.

Indian Air Force (IAF) has deployed 12 of its choppers for distributing relief materials to the villagers' everyday. The army, which had already deployed five columns of around 120 men, sent another 14 and three naval companies.

Meanwhile, Railway Minister Lalu Prasad has announced that the railways will not charge fare from flood victims if they want to move out.

"The Railways will not charge any fare from victims who want to leave for other stations. We have also arranged community kitchen services for people of flood-affected areas. Moreover, people still marooned in the floods, need to be immediately evacuated," Prasad said.

Relief continues to pour in with the help of the IAF in the form of food, medicines and tarpaulin sheets.

The flooding, said to be the worst in 50 years, was caused after an embankment of the Kosi River was breached in Nepal, from where it originates. This unleashed huge waves of water, which smashed mud embankments downstream in Bihar.

The waters of the Kosi gushed into the state, inundating vast tracts and affecting around two million people.

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