The Heat Is Online

Indian Flooding Displaces Thousands

Flood situation worsens in Bihar


The Times of India, Aug. 1, 2007

The overall flood situation in Bihar on Wednesday worsened with swollen Kareh breaching its embankment at two places, inundating vast areas of Darbhanga, Samastipur and Begusarai districts as all major rivers were in spate due to heavy rains in their catchment areas.

Swirling waters of Kareh, Bagmati and Kamala Balan continued to wreak havoc in all the 18 blocks in Darbhanga district, worst-hit by floods, where over 24 lakh people have been affected by the deluge, official sources said.

District Magistrate, Samastipur, M Shravana Kumar said that Kareh breached its Hayaghat-Marachin embankments at Shivajinagar and Hasanpur along 50-metre and 75-metre stretches inundating hundreds of villages.

The district administration engaged local boats to evacuate the marooned people as the flood-fighting operations continued on a war-footing, he said.

The situation was likely to aggravate further with all the major rivers, including Burhi Gandak, Gandak, Bagmati, Mahananda and Kosi, already flowing above the danger mark at several places along their course, once again rising menacingly following incessant rains in their catchment areas, sources said.

In West Champaran district the situation is equally grim following breach in the embankment of river Sikarahana at village Mahana near Bettiah, sources said.

According to Central Water Commission report, all major rivers were maintaining rising trends following heavy downpour in their catchment areas in the past 24 hours.

Burhi Gandak was flowing 155 cm, 139 cm, 237 cm, 259 cm and 14 cm above the danger mark at Lalbegia, Sikandarpur, Samastipur, Rosera and Khagaria, respectively, the report said.

Bagmati too continued to flow 116 cm and 274 cm above the danger level at Benibad and Hayaghat.

At Sahebganj, Ganga was flowing 41 cm above the red mark while water level of Gandak crossed the danger level at Chakia by 45 cm.

Similarly, Kamala Balan was above the danger mark by 146 cm at Kamtaul, 223 cm at Ekmighat and 23 cm at Jhanjharpur while Kosi was flowing 175 cm, 17 cm and 08 cm above the red mark at Baltara, Basua and Kursela, the report said.

State Water Resource Department sources said engineers were engaged to carry out the flood-fighting operations at places where rivers were putting pressure on the embankments and causing erosion, by placing polythene crates filled with empty cement bags.

Around five million people were affected in the floods in over 2000 villages spread over 12 districts, the sources said.

Standing crops, private and public property worth over Rs 30 crore had been damaged in the calamities which claimed at least 25 lives.

Governor R S Gavai undertook an aerial survey of the flood-hit areas yesterday and called an all-party meeting to discuss measures to be taken to tackle the situation here this evening.

Railway minister Lalu Prasad is also scheduled to undertake an aerial survey of the flood-hit areas on Wednesday afternoon.