Death Toll Rises in Bihar Flood; Relief Operation Inadequate

Flood in Purnia district.

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Patna: Flood situation in North Bihar remained grim on Wednesday with official death toll rising to 72 though unofficially, the number is said to be in excess of almost twice as much.

While officials from the Disaster Management Department claimed water level receding in most major rivers in Bihar, including Kamala Bagan, Baghmati, Gandak, and Mahananda, the effect of it could be felt even on Wednesday as hundreds of thousands of flood-victims were seen escaping their homes in an attempt to get to higher regions where shelters have been set up by the state government and a number of private organizations.

With 22 teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) deployed in the state along with 15 teams of State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and Army jawans manning motorboats to rescue stranded villages, relief work still seemed to be anything but adequate as the Center announced dispatching four more troops of NDRF to arrive in Bihar on Thursday.

Though the officials put the death toll to 72, at least 110 people are reported dead in the Seemanchal zone alone with Araria leading the chart with 40 fatal casualties with many still unaccounted for.

Meanwhile, railway traffic remained disrupted in most of North Bihar including traffic on Darbhanga-Samastipur, Saharsa-Purnia, Motihari-Sugauli, Bagaha-Bettiah, Forbesganj-Jogbani, and Katihar-Malda divisions.

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