Major rivers in north Bihar, especially the Kosi, Gandak, Budhi and Bagmati, are in spate following heavy rains in their catchment areas and are posing a threat of floods, officials said Friday.
With heavy rainfall recorded in the catchments areas in neighbouring Nepal, the water levels of these rivers have been rising to dangerous levels for the last two days.
"The Bagmati has crossed the danger mark at some points and the water level in Gandak also increased following water discharge into the river from Nepal," said an official of the central water commission.
In view of the spate in major rivers, the state government has alerted the administrations of flood prone Madhepura, Supaul, Saharsa, Araria, Purnia, Darbhanga, Samastipur and Sitamarhi districts.
Official sources said engineers of the water resource department have been directed to keep a vigil on the vulnerable embankments.
According to reports reaching here, an embankment on the Bagmati river in Aurai block was breached, resulting in inundation of several villages Thursday.
The fear of a repeat of last year's devastating floods is haunting thousands of people in the region from where Kosi flows following a record water discharge into the river from Nepal.
However, Bihar Water Resources Development Minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav said the Kosi embankment was safe and there was no need to panic.
He stressed that the eastern Kosi embankment, which was breached Aug 18 last year, flooding five districts of northern Bihar, was totally safe.
Last year, more than three million people were rendered homeless in Bihar when the Kosi river breached its bank upstream in Nepal and changed course Aug 18. Large tracts of land were flooded, forcing people to flee their homes.
Thousands of people were affected in the floods that were said to be the worst in Bihar in the last 50 years. People were forced to live along roads under the open sky without food and drinking water or in relief camps set up by the state government.