Bihar flood situation grim; help of Army, IAF sought
Patna, Aug 13 (IANS) The flood situation in Bihar continued to be grim on Sunday as Chief Minister Nitish Kumar sought the help of the Army and the Indian Air Force in relief and rescue of thousands of people affected by the deluge, officials said.
"The flood situation in Bihar is grim. The state government is fully alert and we have sought help from the Army and IAF helicopters to rescue affected people and distribute relief among them," Nitish Kumar said at an official function here.
The Chief Minister said he had requested Prime Minister Narender Modi and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to provide all possible central help for rescue and relief for the affected. "Both have assured of the assistance," Nitish Kumar said.
Nearly half a dozen districts in Seemanchal and Koshi areas in the state were the worst affected following heavy rains during the past three days.
All major rivers in Bihar are in spate after heavy rains in their respective catchment areas in Nepal and Bihar.
Floodwaters have submerged hundreds of villages, affecting thousands of people. So far, no casualty has been reported due to Bihar floods, officials said.
The state government has placed its staff on alert, ordering the evacuation of residents from flood-affected Kishanganj, Araria, Purnea, Katihar, West Champaran, Saharsa, and Supaul districts, Disaster Management Department officials said.
Informed sources in the Chief Minister's Office said a team of 80 Army men of Bihar Regiment from Danapur Cantonment in Patna rushed on Sunday evening to Kishanganj and Araria to rescue people.
"Nitish Kumar has also sought 10 additional teams of the National Disaster Relief Fund from the Centre for affected districts."
The state government has already deployed teams of NDRF and SDRF in these districts.
The Disaster Management Department has asked people living in low-lying areas to move to higher grounds.
Reports reaching the state capital said hundreds of people fled their homes after water entered their villages in Supaul, Saharsa, Bagha, Gopalganj, Madhubani, Sitamarhi, Khagaria, Darbhanga and Madhepura districts.
A Water Resources Department official said: "Water entered these villages after all major rivers were in spate following heavy rains in the state and the catchment areas in Nepal."
The railway stations in Kishanganj and Jogbani in Araria were flooded by water, leaving scores of passengers stranded.
According to officials, crops worth crores of rupees were damaged and road link to several places had been snapped.