Bihar floods death toll reaches 67, water levels recede but more areas affected

Officials asserted that water levels have begun to recede in the inundated areas and focus has now shifted to prevention of outbreak of diseases.

Published: 17th July 2019 11:40 PM  |   Last Updated: 18th July 2019 04:02 AM   |  A+A-

On Tuesday, 26.41 lakh people in 571 panchayats of 79 blocks in the affected districts were said to be affected.

On Tuesday, 26.41 lakh people in 571 panchayats of 79 blocks in the affected districts were said to be affected. (Photo | PTI)

By PTI

PATNA: Death toll in the Bihar flash floods, caused by torrential rainfall in the catchment areas of Nepal over the weekend, soared to 67 on Wednesday.

The officials asserted that water levels have begun to recede in the inundated areas and focus has now shifted to prevention of outbreak of diseases.

The death figure, as per the state disaster management department, has registered a more than two-fold rise since 24 hours ago when it stood at 33.

Sitamarhi with 17 deaths, as against 11 the previous day, remained the district reporting the maximum number of casualties, followed by Araria (12), Madhubani (11), Sheohar (09), Purnea (07) Darbhanga (05), Kishanganj (04) and Supaul (02).

ALSO READ: Bihar floods - NDRF teams turn saviour for pregnant women 

Casualty figures have risen, since Tuesday, in districts like Araria, Kishanganj and Sheohar while Purnea, Darbhanga and Madhubani reported no death till Tuesday.

Muzaffarpur administration has confirmed that no death has been caused by floods so far while figures were awaited from Katihar, Saharsa and East Champaran.

Many media reports claimed that the number of deaths has already crossed 80 and that bodies were being fished out from the waters in flood-hit areas by the personnel involved in relief work as a result of which the toll was shooting up.

A department official, however, said on condition of anonymity unconfirmed reports are stating exaggerated figures perhaps taking into account even deaths caused by other factors in flood-hit areas.

With a let up in the rainfall in Nepal reported in the past couple of days, the focus will now be more on containing the outbreak of infectious diseases through effective distribution of medical aid to people living in flood-hit areas as also those taking shelter at relief camps, he added.

ALSO READ: Have to eat rats to survive, claim locals in flood-affected Bihar village

Although water levels have receded in the half a dozen rivers which have been in spate since heavy rains lashed Nepal, flood water has spread to more areas in Bihar since Tuesday.

The affected population now stood at 46.83 lakhs residing in 831 panchayats under 92 blocks of 12 districts.

On Tuesday, 26.41 lakh people in 571 panchayats of 79 blocks in the affected districts were said to be affected.

Additional relief camps have been set up in the last 24 hours the total number of which has risen from 199 to 221. The number of people taking shelter at these has also reached 1.26 lakhs and they were being provided food through 748 community kitchens.

Relief and rehabilitation is being carried out by 796 personnel, assisted by 26 teams of NDRF and SDRF and equipped with 125 motorboats.

ALSO READ: Deluge in Bihar worsens as Nepal releases over 1.5 lakh cusecs of water

Meanwhile, senior RJD leader and former Chief Minister Rabri Devi urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to declare the floods in the state as a national disaster.

She made a statement to the effect before journalists outside the state legislative council where she is the Leader of the Opposition.

CPI(ML) MLAs Mehboob Alam, Satyadeo Ram and Sudama Prasad were touring the flood-hit areas, the party said here in a statement adding that it has urged its cadres to fan out in the places hit by the natural calamity and run a week-long flood relief campaign from July 18 to 24.

The party also charged the Nitish Kumar government in the state with failure to carry out relief and rehabilitation on a war footing, as a result of which people in the affected areas were dying or forced to live unsheltered.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp