People flee homes as floodwater enters Bihar villages

July 14th, 2010 - 3:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Patna, July 14 (IANS) Thousands of people in Bihar fled their homes Wednesday as floodwaters entered over 100 villages and threatened to inundate many others.
Nearly 100 villages in Aurai, Katra and Gaighat blocks of Muzaffarpur have been inundated since Monday. Water also entered dozens of villages in Bagaha district after levels rose in all the major rivers following heavy rains in the state and the catchment areas of Nepal.

According to the Central Water Commission, the water level in major rivers - Kosi, Gandak, Budhi Gandak, Kamlabalan, Adhwara and Bagmati - has increased in the last 48 hours.

“All the rivers are in full spate following heavy rains. Some rivers may cross the red mark late Wednesday or Thursday,” an official said.

Reports reaching here said people were fleeing their homes in Muzaffarpur, Bagaha, Saharsa and Purnea districts.

“Heavy rains reportedly damaged embankments in Muzaffarpur and Bagaha. The district officials have initiated the move to check erosion,” said an official of the water resources department.

More water is expected to enter the villages as the embankment of the Bagmati river in Muzaffarpur and the Gandak in Bagaha have been threatened. The rising water level in rivers is putting pressure on embankments.

“All engineers have been directed to be ready with necessary equipment and boulders to face any situation and to protect the embankments,” an engineer said.

In 2008, more than 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 Bihar in the last 50 years.

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