50,000 people reluctant to leave homes in flood-hit Bihar

September 7th, 2008 - 1:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Patna, Sep 7 (IANS) Around 50,000 people in the flood-hit areas of Bihar are reluctant to move to safer places and are living on the rooftops of their homes, an official said Sunday.”These people are not ready to be evacuated as they fear their homes and valuables will be robbed if they leave,” an official of the disaster management department said.

With the water level receding by one and half feet in the last two days, those taking shelter on the rooftops have told army rescue personnel that they would not leave as the flood situation was improving.

Personnel of the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force and other government agencies are trying hard to convince the marooned people to move to safer places.

Till Sunday, 882,000 marooned people have been evacuated by the government agencies. About 280,000 of them are being sheltered in relief camps, Bihar Disaster Management Minister Nitish Mishra said.

According to Mishra, the Kosi river continues to pose a threat to the lives of people trapped in Bihar’s worst floods in over 50 years.

The floods have claimed 50 lives, according to official estimates. Over 2.5 million people and 925,000 cattle have been affected.

Several Bihar districts were flooded by the Kosi river following a breach in an embankment upstream in Nepal last month. About 100,000 hectares of farmland have been submerged and nearly 300,000 houses damaged.

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