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Bihar flood death toll rises to 129
July 21, 2004 14:53 IST
With reports of 43 fresh deaths, the death toll in the current spell of floods in Bihar on Wednesday mounted to 129 despite the overall situation showing signs of improvement in 18 districts with recession in water level of major rivers Gandak, Kosi, Kreh and Bagmati.
State disaster management department sources said 25 more deaths were reported from Muzaffapur and 18 from Sitamarhi
during the past 48 hours taking the death toll in the recent spell of floods to 129.
The reports of the fresh deaths poured in from the two districts after communication was established through satellite phones, the sources said.
While Sitamarhi accounted for the largest number of 40 deaths, 31 people have lost their lives in Muzzaffarpur, 23 in Darbhanga, seven in Sheohar, eight in East Champaran, seven in Araria, three each in Samastipur, Madhubani, two each in Supaul, Madhepura and Khagaria and one in Saharsa.
Meanwhile according to a Central Water Commission report, the major rivers were maintaining receding trends even as Gandak, Bagmati and Kosi were flowing above danger mark at some points along their course.
State water resources department sources said engineers continued to maintain round-the-clock vigil on the embankments, where rivers mounted pressure, to prevent breach.
Army personnel continued to airdrop food packets for the marooned people in the affected districts, the sources said. Over 4000 boats were engaged to evacuate marooned people to safer places, they added.
Officials said standing crops spread on 11.39 lakh hectare area, over 3.25 lakh houses and public properties, valued around Rs 118 crore, had been destroyed in the floods.
The flood affected a population of nearly 20 million spread over 6730 villages under 2232 panchayats in the 18 districts.