Bihar flood situation worsens as rivers overtop embankments; Army, NDRF in rescue operation
Thirteen of the 38 districts of north Bihar affected by floods. These include West and East Champaran, Sitamarhi, Madhubani, Darbhanga, Saharsa, Supaul, Araria, Kishanganj, Purnia, Katihar, Khagaria and Muzaffarpur.Updated: Aug 14, 2017 12:18 IST
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar left on an aerial survey of flood-hit districts of Purnia, Araria, Kishanganj and Katihar amid reports of flood situation worsening, with breach in embankments at Darbhanga, Katihar and Sitamarhi.
Kamlabalan river in Darbhanga overtopped its embankment in the wee hours of Monday, affecting many areas of Darbhanga district. There were also reports of breach in embankments at Kadwa and Shivganj in Katihar district.
Talking to HT, principal secretary, water resources, Arun Kumar Singh, said, “The Kamlabalan overtopped the embankment at 2am on Monday. Against the danger level at 50.5 metres, the river was flowing almost two metres above it at 52.35 metres.”
Around 13 of the 38 districts in Bihar had been affected by floods. These include West and East Champaran, Sitamarhi, Madhubani, Darbhanga, Saharsa, Supaul, Araria, Kishanganj, Purnia, Katihar, Khagaria and Muzaffarpur. Road communication in many districts was snapped as floodwater overtopped national highways.
Mahananda, Kosi, Gandak, Bagmati, Burhi Gandak and Kankai were among the rivers in spate due to heavy rains in Nepal and its catchment areas.
The Kosi was also on the rise. This was the river which had breached the Kusaha embankment in August 2008, causing massive devastation in north Bihar. Officials said the river was exerting pressure on the Saharsa embankment, threatening several villages on its eastern side.
Six additional teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), which had been airlifted from Bhubaneswar, had been dispatched to the affected districts. While three teams of the NDRF had been sent to Sitamarhi, a team each was dispatched to Gopalganj, Bagaha (West Champaran) and Muzaffarpur.
Around 300 army personnel and two army choppers had joined 3,900 SDRF and NDRF personnel in evacuation and relief operations. Principal secretary, disaster management department, Pratyaya Amrit, said: “Three columns of the army have already reached Darbhanga and has been dispatched to critical areas.” He said the priority of the government was to evacuate the marooned expeditiously.”
Amrit said the flood due to unprecedented rains was challenging, and district magistrates of the affected districts had been told to set up relief camps.
The chief minister’s travel plan was delayed by 30 minutes due to heavy showers on Monday morning. He was scheduled to fly to Purnia air force base, after which he will take a chopper to undertake aerial survey of flood-hit areas.
First Published: Aug 14, 2017 12:18 IST