Bihar flood situation grim as all rivers rise

July 7th, 2011 - 9:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Patna, July 7 (IANS) All major rivers in northern Bihar were flowing above the danger mark Thursday, with flood-waters spreading to many areas and affecting more than three lakh people, officials said.

The swollen rivers pose threat to embankments following incessant rains and heavy water discharge into the Kosi river from Nepal.

Flood-waters spread to new areas in Muzaffarpur, Gopalganj, Sitamarhi, Araria, East and West Champaran and Saharsa districts, officials of the state disaster management department said.

“Flood situation remained unchanged since Wedneday,” an official of the state water resources development department said.

The Bihar government has already sounded a state-wide flood alert.

Bihar Water Resources Development Minister Vijay Kumar Choudhary said a National Disaster Response Team is camping in Saharsa with four boats.

Rail traffic on the Narkatiaganj-Raxaul section was suspended after floodwaters submerged railway tracks and entered Sikta railway station in West Champaran.

The Kosi is posing a threat to its eastern embankment. The rain swollen Gandak was threatening a newly-built embankment in Gopalganj district, a disaster management department official said.

Authorities have asked thousands of people to shift to safer places following the rising water levels of the Kosi at various places. The state government has asked engineers and district officials to keep a 24-hour vigil on the water levels.

Choudhary said the eastern Kosi embankment, which was breached in 2008 and flooded five districts of northern Bihar, was totally safe.

In 2008, over three million people were rendered homeless in Bihar when the Kosi river breached its bank upstream in Nepal and changed course. It was said to be the worst flood in the state in the last 50 years.

According to the water resources department, a lot of water has been discharged into the Kosi in the last one week after heavy rains in Nepal as well as in Bihar.

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