Late Wednesday night, the waters of the heavily swollen Gandak river — flowing from Nepal — began seeping into six villages of Bihar’s Gopalganj district.
The waters were ankle-deep. By Thursday morning, the water level in these villages had risen waist-high, triggering panic among residents and people in nearby villages.
State water resources department officials had warned that 14 lakh people in the three north Bihar districts of Gopalganj, Saran and Siwan would be affected if the river breached its embankment in Gopalganj.
Since Wednesday, 2,50,000 people have been evacuated from flood-hit and vulnerable areas. They have started reaching relief centres set up by the disaster management depart-ment in Gopalganj and Siwan.
“We are prepared. Required personnel have reached the site for relief and rehabilitation. We will not allow any loss of lives,” Chief Minister Nitish Kumar told mediapersons in Patna.
More than 520 people had died in the Kosi floods in north Bihar in August 2008 when the river had breached its embankments near Kusaha in Nepal.