PATNA: Six north Bihar districts bordering Nepal were declared flood affected by the state disaster management department (DMD) on Saturday as torrential rains lashed the catchment areas upstream.
Pratyaya Amrit, principal secretary of the DMD, said the districts affected by floods included 27 blocks in Sheohar, Sitamarhi, East Champaran, Araria, Madhubani and Kishanganj.
As the number of rivers flowing above the danger mark increased from five to six on Saturday, rail and road traffic in Araria, West Champaran and Madhubani districts came to a standstill as floodwaters submerged tracks and vital roads following heavy rain in Nepal.
The Araria district administration has requisitioned NDRF teams even as an alert has been sounded in all 16 blocks of West Champaran district.
The swollen rivers affected road and rail connectivity at many places. For instance, seven trains were either cancelled, short terminated, or diverted after flood water pooled on the Bairgania-Kundwa-Chainpur railway track in Samastipur division of East Central railways on Saturday. Water came on the platforms of several railway stations.
Bagmati, which is among the rivers that flow into the state from Nepal, is the most swollen with its water levels above danger level at six out of seven flood gauges, according to the daily flood bulletin issued by the water resources department on Saturday. Its waters washed away a newly constructed cofferdam at Benipur under Aurai block of Muzaffarpur district on Friday evening, inundating 50 villages under Aurai Katra and Gaighat blocks and snapping road links at several places.
Torrential rain in north Bihar and Nepal for the past five days has flooded several villages in Sitamarhi district where schools have been closed till July 20.
The DMD principal secretary added that 19 community kitchens have been made operational in the flood affected areas and relief camps have also been set up in Sitamarhi and Sheohar districts.
The water resources department bulletin stated that Bagmati was flowing above corresponding level at all five flood gauges in Sitamarhi district. Kamla Balan, which also originates from Nepal, was flowing above danger level at two places in Madhubani district. Lalbakeya, Adhwara and Mahananda rivers were also flowing above danger level in several places in East Champaran, Sitamarhi, Purnea and Katihar districts respectively.
Meanwhile, rising trend was observed in water level of most rivers in the state, including Bagmati, Burhi Gandak, Ganga, Adhwara, Mahananda and Ghaghra among others on Saturday but a silver lining is in sight in the form of forecast of reduction in intensity of rainfall in Bihar from Monday onwards.
Private weather agency Skymet reported on Saturday that flooding conditions will remain intense as north Bihar and Nepal would continue to receive good rainfall for the next 48 hours and decrease thereafter.