On August 18, 2008, the Koshi river picked up a channel it had abandoned over 100 years ago near the border of Nepal and India. Approximately 2 million people were affected as the river broke its embankment at Kusaha in Nepal, thus submerging several districts of Nepal and India. 95% of total flow of Koshi is now flowing through the new course.
Chief Minister of Bihar Nitish Kumar met Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh to seek his help in dealing with the "catastrophe" caused by floods. The worst affected districts included Supaul, Araria, Saharsa,Madhepura, Purnia, Katihar, parts of Khagaria and northern parts of Bhagalpur, besides adjoing regions of Nepal.
District magistrate of Madhepura has ordered the inhabitants of Madhepura town to evacuate the town because the water level continues rising. Relief work was carried with Indian Air Force helicopters dropping 600 food packets per day relief materials from Purnia in the worst hit districts where nearly two million persons are entrapped.
It is not possible to assess the magnitude of deaths or destruction, because the affected areas are totally inaccessible. Even mobile phones have stopped working, because entrapped persons cannot get their batteries charged.