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Over 7 million affected in Bihar floods
Anand Mohan Sahay in Patna/PTI |
July 14, 2004 13:01 IST
Last Updated: July 14, 2004 16:39 IST
Over seven million people were affected as Bihar continued to reel under one of the worst floods the state had experienced in recent times. Major parts of northern and eastern Bihar bordering Nepal are inundated and the situation is worsening with each passing day.
The death toll mounted to 41 on Wednesday with 11 more deaths being reported from East Champaran and Darbhanga districts during the last 24 hours.
According to official sources, eight people lost their lives on Tuesday evening when their boat capsized near Nakardeva in East Champaran district while crossing the turbulent Burhi Gandak River.
In Darbhanga, three persons were swept away by strong currents at Neuri village in Beraul block on Tuesday night.
While Sitamarhi district accounted for the highest number of deaths (18), followed by East Champaran (8), Sheohar (7), Darbhanga (3), Supaul and Madhepura (two each) and Saharsa (1).
Relief department sources said 91.75 lakh people in 16 districts were affected, including Araria, West Champaran, Samastipur, Khagaria, Kishanganj, Bhagalpur, Siwan, Muzaffarpur, Madhepura, Katihar and Madhubani. Some districts are totally cut off and many people are believed to be either living under the open sky or having taken shelter on rooftops and trees.
Flood waters have entered all the towns in the area, including Darbhanga, Muzaffarpur, Sitamarhi, Madhubani, Seohar and Supaul.
Col D K Vohra told rediff.com that 10 helicopters and 14 army columns are engaged in rescue and relief operations. But Bihar Chief Minister Rabri Devi has asked the Centre to send four more helicopters to speed up relief operations and provide kerosene oil, rice, wheat and other essential items.
The East Central Railway has cancelled several pairs of long-distance trains as rail links from Darbhanga to New Delhi and Kolkata have been snapped.
"The ECR has temporarily terminated a few long-distance trains, which originate in Muzaffarpur and other stations," railway officials said on Wednesday.
Worst is the condition of the metre gauge section of the ECR, particularly on the Darbhanga-Nirmali-Jainagar and Darbhanga-Narkatiaganj routes. The railway tracks on these routes have been washed off in the swirling floods.
However, an ECR release said the railways would make all possible efforts to continue train movement in north Bihar to rush relief materials.
A report from Muzaffarpur district said water of the swollen Burhi Gandak had entered the campus of the Srikrishna Medical College and Hospital forcing students to vacate the hostels.