iconimg Saturday, August 29, 2015

Arun Kumar, Hindustan Times
Patna, September 06, 2013
Despite recent rains, Bihar has still witnessed 21% less rainfall than normal. This is reverse of what the country has experienced - already exceeding normal rainfall by 11%. But anymore rain in the state could play havoc in a situation, where a dozen districts are reeling under the impact of flooding by rivers.

A man wades through neck-deep water to shift his belongings to a safe place in a flooded Bhagalpur village.HT photo

Being close to the Indo-Nepal border, experts say, a devastating cloudburst also cannot be ruled out.

At a meeting with chief secretary AK Sinha and principal secretary, department of disaster management (DMD), Vyasji, Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) experts called for the need of greater preparedness, should there be heavy rainfall or cloudburst like situation.

“All the rivers are already in full spate and even moderate or continuous rainfall may cause havoc, as around 12 districts are already facing a serious flood situation. In some areas, heavy rain fall is expected in the coming days,” said AK Sen, director,Patna IMD centre.

Sen said, there was the possibility of not much rain in western and central Bihar in the next 10-15 days even as eastern and north-eastern
parts could witness moderate to heavy rainfall.

“From September 9, there could be heavy rains in areas like Katihar, Kishanganj, Purnia and Bhagalpur,” he added.

On the possibility of cloudburst, Sen said it was something that could be predicted only 48 hours in advance.

“Cloudbursts usually takeplace in mountainous regions.Bihar is no doubt vulnerable and hence general alertness is required to be able to take timely action in such an eventuality”.

Officials of water resources development department said,the government has sounded full alert in the Ganga riparian districts and appealed to the people to move to safer places.

Patna is still under constant pressure due to the rampaging Ganga, which has nearly touched the 1975 mark.

Swirling waters of the Ganga have hit nearly a dozen districts and entered the outskirts of many a town, including Ara, Bhagalpur,Begusarai, Khagaria and Chapra and is putting pressure on embankments, posing serious threat to several hundred villages.

Officials said standing crops in five lakh hectares worth crores of rupees have been destroyed and road communication at several places has been snapped.