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After drought, Bihar facing flood threat

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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.

(IANS)

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Small UK Village Celebrates Centenary of Its Part in Aviation History

On its outward journey in 1919, the 193-meter-long R34 airship flew from Scotland to New York

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UK, Village, Aviation History
Pulham in Norfolk became the return point in the first ever return flight across the Atlantic Ocean by an airship. Pixabay

A village in the UK with a population of less than 1,000 was marking on Saturday the centenary of its part in aviation history.

Pulham in Norfolk became the return point in the first ever return flight across the Atlantic Ocean by an airship, the Xinhua news agency reported.

On its outward journey in 1919, the 193-meter-long R34 airship flew from Scotland to New York, but on the return leg it unexpectedly redirected to Pulham where its arrival was greeted by thousands of people. It became the first airship that made the East-West crossing of the Atlantic by air.

Sheila Moss King, who has organised the centenary event, said the arrival of the airship on July 13, 1919 had earned Pulham its place in aviation history.

UK, Village, Aviation History
A village in the UK with a population of less than 1,000 was marking on Saturday the centenary of its part in aviation history. Pixabay

The crew’s 75-hour return flight to Britain was a little less eventful than the 108-hour outbound journey from East Lothian in Scotland to Long Island, she said.

“They weren’t sure if they were on the right course and they flew through the most terrible storms with the airship tipping up and down,” Moss King noted.

A band struck up the song “See the Conquering Hero Comes” as the crowd gave the crew a heroes welcome in Norfolk and got an absolute drenching when the water used as ballast was released.

“It was in the news, it was on the radio – people all around the world would have heard of Pulham,” she said, adding it took 500 people to land the airship.

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Records show that in New York the crew was showered with gifts and were greeted by US President Woodrow Wilson.

There was even an offer of $1,000 for the airship’s cat, named Wopsie, but it was turned down, and the cat returned to England.

Descendants of the airship crew and airfield workers gathered in the village on Saturday at the start of a two-day centenary celebration. In the nearby town of Diss, an R34 memorabilia exhibition has opened.

The outline of the airship has also been marked close to where it landed a century ago. (IANS)