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25 killed in Bihar floods, 3 districts cut off

July 12, 2004 14:16 IST

The flood situation in Bihar was aggravated further today with swollen rivers inundating fresh areas. Some 25 people were reported to have lost their lives so far, and about 60 lakh people in 11 districts have been badly affected by the floods, official sources said.

Darbhanga, Sitamarhi and Sheohar were cut off from the rest of the state with the menacingly rising rivers submerging
fresh areas in the three districts and in Muzaffarpur and East and West Champaran districts, the sources said.

Train services on the Samastipur-Darbhanga, Samastipur-Jhanjharpur, Samastipur-Narkatiaganj, Saharsa-Forbesganj, Jhanjharpur and Nirmali route remained paralysed, divisional railway manager (Samastipur) V K Bahmami said.

A report from Darbhanga said flood waters had entered the north Bihar town, most parts of which were under knee to waist deep water. The Indian Air Force's airstrip was also submerged, it said.

The army continued to assist the local administration in providing relief and evacuating those marooned. Three army
choppers have been pressed into service and two more were expected to join in relief and rescue efforts later today.

Three columns of the army, each comprising around 60 men and eight motor boats, are already engaged in evacuating
people to safer places and providing relief, and five more are scheduled to arrive today.

The flood-hit districts are Sitamarhi, Sheohar, East Champaran, West Champaran, Darbhanga, Madhubani, Araria,
Katihar, Khagaria, Supaul and Banka.

The details of the death toll are yet to be known.

Road links between Sitamarhi and Muzaffarpur, Sitamarhi and Sheohar, Muzaffarpur and Darbhanga, and Darbhanga and Samastipur have also snapped, with flood waters either topping the roads or washing them away.

According to a report from the Central Water Commission, most of the major rivers in North Bihar were rising alarmingly and have crossed the danger level at several places.

While the Bagmati was flowing above the danger mark at Benibad, Kosi was above the red level at Basua and Baltara.
The Gandak was flowing above the danger level at Khadda, the Burhi Gandak at Lalbagiaghat, Samastipur and Rosera, the Adhwara at Ekmighat, the Kamla Balan at JhanÍharpur and the Mahananda at Dhengraghat and Jhaba, the report said.

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