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76 dead in Bihar floods, 3.5 lakh evacuated

August 30, 2008 20:30 IST

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As swollen Kosi river continued to wreak havoc, the flood situation remained grim in Bihar on Saturday with Supaul, Madhepura, Araria and Saharsa districts bearing the brunt even as the death toll shot up to 76.

More than 22 lakh people were hit by the deluge in four districts with over 3.5 lakh people already evacuated. Three Indian Air Force choppers were pressed for airdropping, official sources said.

Army jawans continued to assist in massive evacuation and relief efforts, as over 1.12 lakh people were lodged in 162 relief camps set up by the government and many more in those run by NGOs, Additional Commissioner of Disaster Management Department Pratyay Amrit told PTI.

The toll has mounted to 76 with 22 deaths reported during the past 24 hours from Madhepura district, 20 in the army boat capsize near Mirganj in Murliganj block of the district on Friday evening.

While Madhepura alone accounted for the largest number of 34 deaths, 11 casualties were reported from Muzaffarpur, Saharsa (eight), Supaul (seven), Katihar (five), Sitamarhi and Bhagalpur (four each), Khagaria (two) and Nalanda (one).

Over 30 lakh people in 16 districts -- Saharsa, Supaul, Madhepura, Araria, Purnia, Katihar, Khagaria, Muzaffarpur, West Champaran, Saran, Sheikhpura, Vaishali, Begusarai, Bhagalpur, Patna and Nalanda -- have been affected by the floods.

The first four districts were the worst affected where over 22.75 lakh people in 755 villages were reeling under its impact.

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