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Bihar floods kill 41, Nitish Kumar conducts aerial survey

LiveMint logoLiveMint 14-08-2017 PTI

Patna: At least 41 people have lost their lives and around 65.37 lakh hit by floods in 12 districts in Bihar, with chief minister Nitish Kumar saying heavy rains in Nepal and parts of the state in the past three days have resulted in the deluge.

The chief minister also conducted an aerial survey of the worst-hit districts of the state’s Seemanchal region to take stock of the situation.

Principal secretary of the disaster management department Pratyay Amrit confirmed that so far 41 deaths have taken place due to floods. While 20 people died in Araria, six in Sitamarhi, five in Kisanganj, three each in East Champaran, West Champaran and Darbhanga districts and one in Madhubani.

The state weather office forecast heavy to very heavy rainfall at one or two places in northern and southern parts of the state on Tuesday. An estimated 65.37 lakh population of 12 districts are affected by flood, Amrit said. The affected districts are Kisanganj, Araria, Purnea, Katihar, East Champaran, West Champaran, Darbhanga, Madhubani, Sitamarhi, Sheohar, Supual and Madhepura.

A total of 22 NDRF teams, seven Army teams and 70 boats are engaged in flood relief and rescue operation, Amrit said. He said that 1.82 lakh marooned people have been brought to safer places and a total of 48,120 people put up in 254 camps in flood-hit areas.

Meanwhile, after conducting an aerial survey of Purnea Kisanganj, Araria and Katihar districts, Kumar said that heavy rains in Nepal and parts of Bihar in the past three days have triggered floods in the state. “It’s akin to flash floods,” he told reporters after conducting the aerial survey.

Araria district was the worst hit as flood waters have entered the district headquarter town. Flood waters have also entered areas in Kisanganj, three blocks of Purnea and one block of Katihar, Kumar said. Officials of disaster management, road construction and rural development departments would make an aerial survey Tuesday to make a report on damage caused by flood.

The Bihar CM thanked the Centre for its prompt response in providing assistance to the state after he spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over phone Sunday. “I thank the Centre for timely help to the marooned people of Bihar. Besides, Army column sent to Purnea, four teams of NDRF have arrived in Bihar yesterday and six more NDRF teams landed today to assist state to take up relief and rehabilitation work on a war footing,” he added.

He said he also spoke to Union home minister Rajnath Singh and defence minister Arun Jaitley on the situation. Kumar also directed district magistrates of flood-hit areas to make an aerial trip to assess the problem and arrange effective relief and rehabilitation accordingly.

Meanwhile, East Central Railway said rail traffic has been hit between Kisanganj and Hatwar in West Bengal as water is flowing above danger level at a place in Katihar division. A total of 33 trains have been cancelled and 11 short- terminated, ECR said in a statement.

Prominent cancelled trains included New Delhi-Dibrugarh Rajdhani Express, Alipurdwar-Delhi Mahananda Express, Guwahati-Mumbai Lokmanya Tilak Express, North-East Express and Ajmer-Kisanganj Garib Nawaz Express. Deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi also thanked the Centre for help to marooned people of Bihar.

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