Five more people died in Bihar floods, pushing the death toll up to 97 on Saturday, as over 69 lakh people were affected in 12 districts, the state’s disaster management department said. Of the fresh five deaths, four were reported from Madhubani district, which has so far accounted for 18 casualties, and one from Darbhanga district, where a total of 10 people have died in the deluge.
Sitamarhi, with 27 deaths, remained the worst-hit district, the disaster management department said in a report. The number of deaths in other districts are Araria (12), Sheohar (10), Purnea (nine), Kishanganj (five), Supaul (three), East Champaran (two) and Saharsa (one).
Muzaffarpur and Katihar districts have not reported any death in the flash floods that hit the state in the wake of torrential rains in the catchment areas of neighbouring Nepal last week.
Around two lakh more people were affected by the flood on Saturday, pushing the overall figure to 69.27 lakh though the districts hit by the deluge remained 12. Over one lakh people have been displaced, with 1.14 lakh taking shelter at 131 relief camps of which 126 have been set up in Sitamarhi alone.
Food is being prepared for the affected population at 859 kitchens and distributed by 796 personnel equipped with 125 boats, who are assisted by 19 teams of the NDRF. Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi and Disaster Management Minister Lakshmeshwar Roy surveyed the worst-hit Sitamarhi and Madhubani districts, respectively, to take stock of relief and rehabilitation work on Saturday.
Modi said, “Those affected by a calamity have the first claim on the coffers of the state.” He asked officials to ensure that dependents of those who died in the flood are paid ex-gratia expeditiously, and no surviving flood victim is denied financial assistance.
Water levels have begun to recede in nearly half a dozen rivers which are, nevertheless, flowing above the danger mark at a number of places. The weather department has predicted heavy rainfall during the next two days in some of the affected districts which may have an adverse impact on the flood situation.