At least 21 people have died and 300,000 affected after 2 major rivers in Uttar Pradesh burst their banks.
River levels have increased after several days of heavy rain in the state and in the rivers’ catchment areas in Nepal. At least 65 people have died in floods in Nepal over the last few days. After days of torrential rain in Nepal, it was inevitable that authorities there would need to open barrages to release excess water and ease pressure on dams. This has since increased river levels in Uttar Pradesh.
According to the Times of India the barrages at Bhalubang, Bhairahwa and Kusum, as well as Chisapani, were opened some time between 15 and 16 August 2014.
River levels in Uttar Pradesh were already swollen by the heavy rainfall in the catchment area of the Himalayas. Since opening the barrages, the Rapti and Ghaghara rivers in Uttar Pradesh have both flooded, affecting around 300,000 people across 6 districts. Levels of the Sarayu and Sharda rivers are also dangerously high.
So far the districts affected are Bahraich, Shrawasti, and Lakhimpur Kheri, which have all been flooded by the Rapti river, and Barabanki, Siddharth Nagar and Faizabad, which have been inundated by the overflowing Ghaghara river.
There are some disturbing reports that as many as 300 people are missing across the two districts of Bahraich and Lakhimpur Kheri. District authorities fear the worst.
Alok Ranjan, chief secretary of Uttar Pradesh, confirmed on sunday 17 August, that at least 21 people have died in the floods.