People flee homes as floodwaters enter 200 Bihar villages

August 25th, 2010 - 12:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Patna, Aug 25 (IANS) Thousands of people in Bihar fled their homes Wednesday as floodwaters entered over 200 villages and threatened to inundate many others.
Floodwaters entered villages in Narkatiaganj and Sikta blocks of Bettiah district, Katra, Auraiand Gaighat blocks in Muzaffarpur district and Ghanshayampur and Kiratpur blocks in Darbhanga district.

Besides, dozens of villages in Bagaha district were inundated after embankments were breached at several places and water levels rose in all the major rivers following heavy rains in the state and the catchment areas of Nepal.

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

According to the Central Water Commission, the water level in major rivers - Kosi, Gandak, Budhi Gandak, Kamlabalan, Adhwara and Bagmati - has risen in the last two days.

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

More water is expected to enter the villages as the embankment of the Bagmati river in Muzaffarpur and the Gandak in Bettah and 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 protect the embankments,” the official said.

The state government has alerted all flood prone districts in north Bihar, the official said.

“Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has directed officials to remain extra vigilant as the eastern afflux bund, which breached at Kushaha in 2008, is again under pressure due to heavy discharge in Kosi,” an official source in the Chief Minister’s Office here told IANS.

Nitish Kumar also held a meeting with top officials. An official admitted that the bund was facing heavy pressure for the first time since it was repaired in 2009.

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 50 years.

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