Flash floods caused due to heavy rains have affected nearly 3.5 lakh people in parts of central Bihar, which was hitherto severely hit by drought.
The affected districts including Gaya, Nalanda, Nawada, Jehanabad and Aurangabad are amongst 26 districts, which were declared drought-hit by the state government in June and July due to scanty rainfall affecting paddy seedling transplantation.
Now, scores of villages in the area are inundated with floodwaters and road links have been snapped due to the heavy rains in the last three days.
Reports said thousands of people in nearly 100 villages in Gaya, Nalanda, Jehanabad, Nawada and Aurangabad districts have been rendered homeless and taken shelters on roadside and other high places in makeshift tents.
The flash floods were triggered due to heavy rains for the past week in the catchments areas of rain-fed rivers including Falgu, Morhar, Jirain and Paimar.
As floodwaters entered several villages, people were forced to flee their homes under Dhanrua block in Patna district. Hundreds of people have turned the Patna-Masaurhi road into a temporary shelter for the last two days.
“On Thursday, the aggrieved people staged protest demanding relief and also called for rescue operations,” Ram Jatan Sharma of Masaurhi said.
The Falgu River, which was almost dry just a week ago, is now flowing above the danger mark due to the downpour in Gaya and Jehanabad. Similarly, the Morhar River in Gaya and Jirain River in Nalanda are also flowing above their danger marks.
Magadh Commissioner Sanjeev Kumar Sinha said flash floods have inundated several villages in Gaya, Jehanabad, Nalanda and Aurangabad districts.
An official of the Disaster Management Department said that people until now suffering from drought are now struggling to get rid of floodwaters. “The flood situation is grim in the drought-affected districts because of rising river waters following heavy rains,” he said.
Due to heavy rains in the past week, the rainfall deficiency has been reduced to 21 percent from 42 per cent recorded in the first week of August.