Twenty-five people have died so far in the current spell of floods in Bihar which has wreaked havoc in 11 districts inundating fresh areas there with several major rivers Ganga, Punpun, Bagmati, Kosi, Burhi Gandak and Adhwara in spate, officials said on Saturday.
Over two million people in Muzaffarpur, Sitamarhi, Sheohar, Saharsa, East Champaran, Supaul, Darbhanga, Madhubani, Patna, Katihar and Bhagalpur are reeling under the impact of the calamities, they said.
A report from East Champaran said six persons were washed away in different parts of the district. While two girls were swept away at Sundarpur-Dubaha village in Madhuban block, a man got drowned when a wooden bridge collapsed at Ahirwatola in Raxaul block. Three persons were swept away at Areraj, Siswania and Purpotipur villages of the district, reports said.
A report from Muzaffarpur said five persons have so far lost their lives in the worst-hit Aurai block. Minister of State for Information and Public Relations and local MLA Arjun Rai told PTI that two persons each were drowned in flood at Rajkhand and Rampur villages and one at Chehuta.
While 12 people lost their lives in Bhagalpur district, one each died in Darbhanga and Sitamarhi. An ex-gratia of Rs 50,000 has already been distributed to the families of each of the victims.
The Bihar government has cancelled leave of its employees in the flood-hit districts, Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, who reviewed the flood-fighting and relief operations at a high-level meeting in Patna, said.
Train services on Narkatiaganj-Raxaul section was suspended late on Friday night following overtopping of tracks, officials said.
Earlier, the railways had suspended traffic on Ghoghardiha Nirmali and Bhagalpur Mandar Hill section as the tracks were submerged. The vehicular traffic on National Highway 77 between Muzaffarpur and Sitamarhi has been snapped with swaollen Bagmati overtopping it at several places.
Magistrates of Muzaffarpur and East Champaran ordered closure of schools till further orders. Most major rivers, including the Burhi Gandak, Punpun, Bagmati, Adhwara, Kamla Balan and Kosi were flowing above the danger level at several places along their course.
Though the Ganga, Ghaghra, Gandak and Mahananda were flowing below the red mark, they were maintaining a rising trend, Central Water Commission sources said. Low-lying areas in Patna and Muzaffarpur were water-logged and efforts to drain out water have borne little fruit because of the continuing downpour.
The weatherman has forecast moderate to heavy rains in the catchment areas of all north Bihar rivers and gangetic plains for the next 24 hours. In a statement from Delhi, leader of opposition Rabri Devi has urged Governor RS Gavai to convene an all-party meeting to discuss the situation.
She criticised Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for undertaking a trip to Mauritius "when the state is reeling under flood".