No let up in Bihar floods, millions affectedAugust 30th, 2008 - 7:33 pm ICT by IANS
Patna, Aug 30 (IANS) The flood situation in Bihar, triggered by the surging waters of the Kosi river, continued to be grave for the 13th day Saturday with hundreds of villages under water, millions displaced and many still crying for rescue.”There is no let up in the flood situation, it has spread to new areas and the water is not receding. But relief and rescue operations are going on in a big way,” an official of the state disaster management department said here.
“We cannot say that the situation is improving; it will take some more days. The situation remained grim,” he said.
The floods have claimed 35 lives, with 20 people dying Friday when their boat capsized in Madhepura. Over 2.5 million people have been affected.
Bihar Minister for Disaster Management Nitish Mishra told IANS that evacuation would be intensified in the next 48 hours with the help of more boats, motorboats, army personnel and the National Disaster Response Force.
“The government is doing everything with the available resources to speed up efforts of relief and rescue,” he said.
Bad weather hampered rescue operations on Thursday and Friday.
Several Bihar districts were flooded by the swirling waters of the Kosi river following a breach in an embankment upstream in Nepal. According to official sources, the worst affected districts are Madhepura, Saharsa and Supaul, where panic-stricken people have taken shelter on rooftops, railway tracks and canal embankments.
“People have fled in large numbers from the affected areas in the last four days. All bus stands, railways stations in these areas are crowded with an unending rush of people trying to get out of flooded areas,” an official said.
According to official sources, more than 300,000 people had been evacuated by government agencies. “Over 100,000 people are being sheltered in 102 relief camps in the areas,” he said.
The floodwaters have destroyed hundreds of houses and 100,000 hectares of farmland.