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Bihar: Floods claim 51 more lives in 24 hours, toll jumps to 253

The disaster management department claims that rescue operations had been launched on a war footing.

india Updated: Aug 20, 2017 22:32 IST
Binod Dubey
Binod Dubey
Patna, Hindustan Times
Bihar floods,Bihar floods tool,Bihar floods damage
This file photo taken on August 19, 2017 shows children using a raft to travel over flood waters in Araria in Bihar.(AFP)

The flash floods, which have hit 1.26 crore population in 20 districts of north Bihar, claimed 51 more lives in the last 24 hours taking the toll to 253 on Sunday, even as lakhs of people are still stranded in inaccessible flood affected locations, particularly in Seemanchal region and East and West Champaran districts.

The worst hit districts are Araria, Katihar, West Champaran and Sitamarhi from where maximum number of casualties has been reported. So far, the deluge in Araria has claimed 57 lives followed by 31 deaths in Sitamarhi and 29 in West Champaran.

Though the disaster management department (DMD) claimed that rescue operations had been launched on a war footing, as per reports pouring in from the districts, lakhs of marooned people had no access to relief materials.

This can be substantiated by the fact that while the deluge has affected 1.26 crore population, only 7.21 lakh people have been evacuated so far. As per DMD figures, the government has set up 1385 relief camps where 4.21 lakh people are staying.

The state government is also running 2569 community kitchens, which feed around five lakh affected people daily.

Those who could not be evacuated were receiving relief materials, including dry ration, through air droppings, said a DMD press release. It, however, said people were returning to their respective villages, where floodwaters had started receding.

The government has pressed in 51 rescue teams comprising the Army, NDRF and SDRF to evacuate the marooned and provide relief materials to flood-hit people. Altogether, 2248 personnel are engaged in the rescues mission. Around 280 boats have been engaged by the rescuers in various parts of north Bihar districts.

Chief minister Nitish Kumar reviewed the flood situation and issued necessary instructions to officials of the DMD and water resources department (DMD) to step up rescue operations.

Health minister Mangal Pandey on Sunday dispatched six vehicles carrying relief materials, including emergency drugs to Gopalganj, which has been severely affected by the swollen Gandak.

The BJP also dispatched 25 vehicles loaded with relief materials to the affected districts. The vehicles were flagged off by deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, road construction minister Nand Kishore Yadav, state party president Nityanand Rai, Rajya Sabha member R K Sinha and BJP state secretary Rituraj Sinha and the party’s vice president Divesh Kumar.

Though other major rivers, including the Kosi, Gandak, Sone and Kamla Balan maintained a falling trend on Sunday, the Ganga was menacingly rising and posing a serious threat to the state capital. In the last 24 hours, its water level increased by 6 cm at the Gandhi Ghat here and was flowing just 25 cm below the danger mark. According to the Central Water Commission (CWC), the river is expected to rise further by seven cm in the next 12 hours.

The other major river, which feeds the Ganga, is also expected to rise further by 11 cm. It is already flowing 31 cm above the danger line.

First Published: Aug 20, 2017 22:32 IST