Flood maroons 400 Gorakhpur villages as rivers’ rage continues
Nine flood-related deaths have been reported in Gorakhpur Basti division so far. Many others are stranded despite the fact that rescue and relief operations are in progress on a war footing. Huge loss of crops and livestock has also been reported due to the calamity.lucknow Updated: Aug 22, 2017 12:28 IST
At least 400 villages have been marooned by flood water in the district as the Rapti, the Rohini, the Ghaghra and the Gorra rivers continue to wreak havoc. Besides, flood waters have submerged several villages in adjoining Maharajganj, Siddharthnagar and Sant Kabir Nagar districts.
Nine flood-related deaths have been reported in Gorakhpur Basti division so far. Many others are stranded despite the fact that rescue and relief operations are in progress on a war footing. Huge loss of crops and livestock has also been reported due to the calamity.
Chief minister Yogi Adityanath, who conducted an aerial survey of flood-hit areas of Gorakhpur on Sunday, directed officials to provide relief material to affected people and speed up rescue operations.
Meanwhile, movement of vehicles and trains has been disrupted on Gorakhpur-Lucknow highway, Gorakhpur-Deoria and Gorakhpur- Maharajganj Nepal route. In view of the flood, the Gorakhpur district administration has ordered closure of schools and colleges till August 23.
On Sunday afternoon, pressure exerted by overflowing Rapti and Rohini rivers eroded 30 km stretch of Barhi dam in Jangha and 25 km stretch of Nekwar dam. This led the flood waters to enter 52 villages located in the vicinity.
So far, 13 of total 69 dams have been eroded while the rest are at a risk in the wake of overflowing rivers.
A total of 1200 villages have been hit in Gorakhpur alone, leading to huge loss to crops and livestock. Over 1.5 lakh people are affected due to flood in the district.
District magistrate Rajeev Rautela said relief and rescue operations were being conducted on a war footing. Control rooms with emergency number 0551 2336005, 2202205 have been set up.
River Rapti is rising at the pace of one centimetre per hour. On Sunday night, it was flowing at 77.130 metres-- 2.15 cm above the danger mark of 74.98. During 1998 floods, it had touched the mark of 77.540 m. Rohini is also flowing above danger mark of 82.84m at 85.17 metres.
Moreover, possibility of rain in the next two days could hamper rescue and relief operations.
“Upper air circulation noticed for the last three days could result in medium to high rain fall between Tuesday and Wednesday in Maharajganj and bordering area of Nepal,” said metrological department official KK Pandey.
RELIEF OPERATIONS ON AT MASSIVE SCALE
The administration has set up 24 relief camps where over 25,000 flood-hit people are getting shelter.
Besides army, and the Indian Air Force personnel, five teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been pressed into service for relief and rescue work.
Over 250 boats and 16 motorboats are working round the clock. Also, 16 divers have been deployed to save people. Eighty-four flood posts have also been set up.
DRINKING BOILED FLOOD WATER
Despite massive relief and rescue operations, hundreds of people are still struggling to get food and water. As water is neck deep, many of them have taken shelters at high places. Unavailability of potable water has forced many to boil the flood water and drink it. People of four villages namely Sonbarsa, Siktaur, Rahmatnagar and Jamunia were facing such hardships. Ram Nath of Sonbarsa village who climbed his rooftop with his wife and kids told HT that he got access to drinking water only after an NDRF team spotted him. He was later shifted to a relief camp.
One Ashwani Chaubey of the same village said it was the worst flood in Gorakhpur since 1998.
ELDERLY SPENT TWO DAYS ON TREE WITH GRAND-DAUGHTERS
Among those rescued by NDRF and army teams is 60-year-old Tara Devi of Pipiganj who spent two days on a mango tree with her two granddaughters till rescue teams reached her on Sunday evening. Both Tara Devi and her granddaughters are healthy but were taken to a hospital for a check-up.
“I took the girls and climbed the rooftop when lower portion of my house submerged on Friday last. Later, when the upper portion too started marooning, I took the girls on my back and climbed the mango tree whose branches pass through the terrace,” she shared.
First Published: Aug 22, 2017 12:28 IST