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14 drown in Bihar floods

July 10, 2004 12:20 IST
Last Updated: July 10, 2004 19:59 IST

At least 14 people were feared drowned in the swollen Bagmati river in Bihar's Sitamarhi district Saturday while trying to escape flood fury even as the armed forces stepped in to augment relief and rescue operations with rain-fed rivers wreaking havoc in eight flood-ravaged districts, officials said.

Fourteen people were feared drowned in two incidents of boat capsize in the worst-hit Sitamarhi district while crossing the turbulent Bagmati, district magistrate A B P Sinha told PTI.

While 10 persons were feared to have been killed at Athri village under Runnisaidpur block of the district, four others were said to have drowned near Jhumma village, also in the same block, he said.

Though efforts were on to locate the bodies, none was recovered so far due to strong currents, Sinha said.

According to relief department sources, 11 people had perished so far in the floods in the state.

With rain-fed rivers causing devastation in eight flood-ravaged districts of Bihar, an IAF chopper and a column of the army comprising around 60 men with 7-8 motor boats were pressed into service to evacuate people and provide relief material to those affected, deputy secretary (relief) Upendra Sharma told PTI.

A population of about five lakh is hit by the floods in Sitamarhi, Banka, Supaul, Sheohar, Darbhanga, Bhagalpur, West Champaran and Khagaria districts.

Meanwhile, the weatherman has forecast moderate rain in the catchment areas of the North Bihar rivers over the next 24 hours.

Since road and rail links with Sitamarhi were snapped and a stretch of Muzaffarpur-Sitamarhi road getting washed away by strong currents, army and private boats were engaged in evacuating people.

The condition in the adjoining Sheohar district was no better with the Collectorate, Sadar Hospital and Sadar Police Station under knee-deep water.

Vehicular traffic between Sheohar and Sitamarhi and Sheohar and Muzaffarpur has been paralysed.

Major rivers including the Ganga, Sone, Punpun, Ghaghra, Gandak, Burhi Gandak, Bagmati, Kamla Balan, Kosi, Mahananda and Adhwara are rising menacingly, a Central Water Commission bulletin said.

The Kamla Balan, Burhi Gandak, Bagmati, Kosi, Mahananda and Adhwara rivers are flowing above the danger level at several places.



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