Patna: The flood situation in Bihar worsened yesterday with a river breaching its embankment in Darbhanga district and affecting thousands, officials said.
Kamala Balan river, swelled by the flood waters of its tributaries, breached the embankment near Ghanshayampur in Darbhanga. The flood waters then submerged over a dozen villages, affecting thousands of people.
In other parts of the state, after heavy donwpour pushed up the water level of Kosi, Gandak and Bagmati rivers, hundreds of villages have been inundated and thousands were marooned.
Vayasji, principal secretary of state disaster management department, said that the flood situation is grim. “We have sounded a high alert as major rivers in north Bihar, especially the Kosi, Gandak, Kamla Balan and Bagmati, are in spate following heavy rains in their catchment areas in Nepal and are posing a threat of floods,” he said over phone.
Vayasjit said that so far no casualty has been reported due to flood in the state. In view of the situation in some areas, eight teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and state disaster response force have been deployed in flood-hit districts.
Vayasji said he has asked for five additional NDRF teams from the central government. The state disaster management department has asked people living in low-lying areas to move to higher ground, he said. Reports reaching here said hundreds fled their homes after water entered their villages in Supaul, Saharsa, Bagha, Gopalganj, Madhubani, Sitamarhi, Khagaria, Darbhanga and Madhepura.
A water resource department official said: “Water entered these villages after levels rose in all the major rivers following heavy rain in the state and the catchment areas in Nepal.”
The death toll from heavy monsoon downpours in northern India climbed to 24 after seven people in a house were killed in their sleep by a landslide, authorities said.
Heavy rains in the last two days have triggered landslides in Uttarakhand, reviving memories of a deadly deluge last year that killed some 5,000 people. “Seven people were killed while one woman was pulled alive by rescue workers from the debris of a house which collapsed due to overnight rain,” district magistrate Chandresh Yadav said, adding that the death toll had risen to 24.
According to officials in Pauri district, at least 50 families were stranded and the army was being deployed to evacuate them. With more rain predicted in the next 24 hours, state authorities have sought reinforcements from the Army and the Air Force, said government spokesman Surendra Kumar. Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief on Twitter over the loss of lives in the state and extended his condolences to the affected families.
President Pranab Mukherjee expressed grief over the deaths caused by heavy rain in Uttarakhand. In a message to Uttarakhand Governor Aziz Qureshi, the President said: “I am deeply saddened to learn about the heavy rains leading to landslides in certain areas of Uttarakhand, which have caused loss of lives, injuries and damage to property. I understand rescue and relief operations are currently underway. I am sure that the state government and other authorities are making all efforts to bring relief to those affected and also provide assistance to the people who have incurred losses.”
Meanwhile, all major rivers and their tributaries in Himachal Pradesh are in spate as moderate to heavy rain continues to lash the hills in the state, said officials.
“Precipitation occurred at most places with heavy to very heavy rainfall at some places in Shimla, Solan, Sirmaur, Kangra, Una, Bilaspur, Hamirpur, Chamba and Mandi districts,” said an official of the Met office. Mandi town received 135 mm of rainfall while Sundernagar received 131 mm and Bhoranj in Hamirpur district received 120 mm of rainfall. Shimla received 62 mm of rainfall while Dharamsala got 18.8 mm and Manali 50 mm.
There were reports of link roads being closed in the interiors of Shimla, Mandi, Kangra and Hamirpur districts, hampering movement of traffic. A government spokesperson said Satluj, Beas and Yamuna rivers and their tributaries were in spate in Kinnaur, Shimla, Kullu, Mandi, Bilaspur and Sirmaur districts.
Modi has condoled the deaths in the recent floods in Odisha and sanctioned compensation for those who died in the calamity. Modi sanctioned Rs2 lakh for the kin of each of the dead, and Rs50,000 for each of the seriously injured from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund. The amount will be disbursed to the district collectors, the statement said.
The prime minister spoke to Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who belonged to Odisha, and sought information on the flood situation. According to the Odisha government, rain and floods have so far killed 47 people in the state since July. Although the situation has improved significantly, thousands of people continue to be marooned in the worst-hit Puri district.