Patna, July 27 (IANS) Nearly half a million people have been affected by the floods in eight districts of Bihar, officials said on Wednesday.
According to unconfirmed reports, at least 10 persons, including women and children, have been killed in the floods.
Vayasji, the Principal Secretary of State Disaster Management Department, said flood situation is serious in a few districts following rising water level in rivers, particularly Kosi and Gandak.
“In view of this, we have already issued high alert and deployed teams of the National Disaster Response Force and the state Disaster Response Force in flood-hit districts,” he said.
The state disaster management department has asked people living in low-lying areas to move to higher ground, Vayasji said.
According to him, dozens of relief camps have been set up in flood-hit districts, and relief and rescue operations are in full swing to help affected people.
An official of water resources department said worst flood-affected districts are Kishanganj, Purnea, Araria, Supaul, Khagaria, Bhagalpur, Madhepura and Darbhanga. The flood water has entered in nearly 1,400 villages.
The state government on Wednesday issued flood alert in East and West Champaran, Muzaffarpur and Vaishali districts.
Major rivers in the state, including the Kosi, Gandak, Bagmati and the Ganga, are in spate following heavy rains in their upstream areas, officials said.
“With heavy rainfall in the catchment areas in neighbouring Nepal, water levels of these rivers have been rising for last several days,” an official said.
Bihar Water Resources Development Minister Lalan Singh said, “Preparations have been made to tackle the flood situation. The state government is alert. All embankments are safe.”
Singh said the eastern Kosi embankment, which was breached in 2008, was safe.
In 2008, more than three million people were rendered homeless in Bihar when the Kosi river breached its banks upstream in Nepal and changed course.
Official sources said engineers of the water resource department have been directed to monitor the vulnerable embankments.