Due to intermittent rains in the Terai region of Bihar and Nepal, the water level of Mahananda, Kosi, Kamla and Bagmati rivers of North Bihar is continuously increasing and flood conditions have started to build in the region.
The Bagmati river is flowing above the danger mark at four flood stations at Sitamarhi, one at Muzaffarpur and Shivhar. The water level of the river has been recorded at 70.75 meters at Dhang Bridge flood station in Sitamarhi, which is 0.65 meters above the danger mark. At the Sonakhan flood monitoring station in Sitamarhi, the river is flowing 0.40 meters above the danger mark. On 12 July, the water level here was 1.45 meters above the danger mark. Similarly, in Muzaffarpur and Shivhar, this river is flowing up to one meter above the danger mark.
The Kamla Balan River is above the danger mark at Jhanjharpur (Railpul) and Jayanagar, two flood stations of Madhubani. The river is flowing about 0.70 meters above the danger mark in Jayanagar while 2.75 meters above Jhanjharpur (Railpul). The Mahananda River is flowing above the danger mark in Purnia and Katihar.
Rainfall alert for the next few days
According to a bulletin issued by the Central Water Commission, Balmikinagar has received 91 mm of rain in the last 24 hours while Galgalia has received 161 mm of rain. Similarly, 82 mm rainfall has been received in Beniabad and 103 mm in Jayanagar.
According to the Indian Meteorological Department, the downpour will continue for the next few days and the media reports have further informed that the rainfall in Nepal may continue for next three days, due to which water level of the rivers is expected to increase further.
Sources in the Water Resources Department informed that till Sunday evening, 2,49,795 cusecs of water has been discharged from Kosi barrage, while 2,39,000 cusecs of water has been discharged from Gandak barrage.
An official of the Water Resources Department told that “The rivers are showing an increasing trend in the water level. In view of this, district level officers have been asked to remain alert.”
Flood water enters many villages
Flood waters of the Kosi and Kamala rivers have entered two villages of Ghanshyampur block of Darbhanga district causing food and drinking water crisis. DM of the district Thiagarajan SM has informed that after the water entered into the villages, community kitchens have been started where food is being provided to the people.
The media reports on the other hand revealed that the flood waters have spread to more than 170 villages in Gopalganj district, causing panic among the villagers. Moreover, many villages have even lost contact. While relief materials and relief teams are yet to reach these villages, people are forced to live in the outposts and elevated places in their homes.
However, Gopalganj DM Arshad Aziz has said that water has not entered the villages outside the river embankment yet.
Aziz told India Water Portal that, "Water has penetrated 15-16 villages within the river embankment, but none of the villages outside the embankment have been impacted. 300-400 people have been evacuated from these villages and sent to relief camps. They are being provided with all kinds of facilities. A lot of people are still in the villages, but they do not want to leave their places. We have given them a boat. The situation is being monitored."
Flood waters have also entered some villages situated within the embankment of Kamala Balan river of Madhubani.
Lal Mohan Jha, the head of Kothiya panchayat of Jhanjharpur block of Madhubani told India Water Portal, “The water level of the river is continuously increasing and if it rises further, then water will enter my panchayat. Right now, it is yet to reach the panchayat."
In Kishanganj district of Bihar’s Seemanchal, flood water has entered many villages. A resident of Bahadurganj block of Kishanganj has sent a video about how water has entered his village and people have taken shelter in the school with essential goods and cattle. Another local person has given a video message that flood water has entered the village of Singhibari and is passing through the road, due to which people are facing problems.
BDO Zulfikar Adil of Bahadurganj said that water had entered some houses along the banks of the river, but it has receded now. At present, no village is affected by the flood water.
Locals extend help
Several panchayats of Barsoi block in Katihar district have been flooded for the last two weeks, but they are not getting any help from the government. These villages are located on the banks of the Mahananda river. According to the local people, flood water has entered the houses and people have taken shelter at the outpost and other elevated places. While the flood-affected people are looking desperately for help, some locals are extending their support to them. Among them is Sohail Akhtar, who has also come forward for people's aid and providing food and drinking water to the flood-hit people.
He told India Water Portal, “Along with cooked rice, we are also delivering citrus fruits to the people. Since the Covid-19 epidemic has spread, citrus fruits will double benefit them.”
Sohail Akhtar is studying at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences. He informed that after seeing the people trapped in floods he made up his mind to help them and even his family, teachers and friends are also engaged in this work. Akhtar has so far delivered relief material to the affected people of three panchayats and will soon provide relief to five more panchayats.
He has informed that, "We had given shelter to three families in our house as their houses were devastated in the floods."
In case you notice any cracks or other problems in the embankments in your area, then call the helpline number 18003456145 and share the information immediately.
You can also report at Twitter by tagging #HelloWRD, @WRD_Bihar (Department of Water Resources). On obtaining the information, the department will immediately inform the officials of the concerned area and prompt action will be taken.
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You can read the article in hindi here. Authored by Umesh Kumar Ray; Translation to english by Swati Bansal