After drought, Bihar facing flood threat


Patna: Bihar, which faced a drought-like situation till last week, is now bracing up to handle floods in hundreds of its villages, officials said on Saturday. The water level is rising in several rivers following heavy rain in the state and the catchment areas of Nepal since Thursday, threatening hundreds of villages, they added.

Be it Kosi, Gandak, Ganga, Bagmati and other rivers, the water level has increased after heavy rain in the last few days. Thousands of people have started fleeing their homes in panic, a state disaster management department official said. A high alert has been declared in vulnerable districts, particularly bordering Nepal, by the water resources department. It has been done in view of the water entering hundreds of villages and the rising water level in several rivers, an official of the department said.

NDRF in Bihar flood in 2008
NDRF in Bihar flood in 2008

Meteorological department officials here said north Bihar districts received a record 200 mm of rainfall on Thursday and 175 mm on Friday. According to officials, the rising water level in the rivers is putting pressure on the embankments at several places. Hundreds of people were fleeing their homes in Supaul, Muzaffarpur, Saharsa, Madhepura, Bhagalpur, Munger and Purnea districts.

The Bihar government has alerted engineers and asked them to keep a 24-hour vigil. In 2008, over 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 the state in the last 50 years.