India – 1,500 Villages Flooded in Bihar, 17 Dead

Nearly half a million people have been affected by the floods in 8 districts of Bihar, according to a statement from the Department of Disaster Management on Wednesday, 27 July, 2016.

Over 1,500 villages have been flooded in the eight affected districts: Kishanganj (543), Purnea (478), Araria (292), Supaul (106), Katihar (177), Bhagalpur (8), Madhepura (48) and Darbhanga (9). Over 1.7 million people have been affected by the flooding.

According to official reports, at least 17 people have died in the floods since 01 June. The deaths occurred in the districts of Araria (1), Supaul (6), Kishanganj (5), Katihar (1), Purnea (3) and Madhepura (1).

Teams from India’s National Disaster Response Force and the Bihar Disaster Response Force have been deployed in flood-hit districts. Around 60 medical teams have also been deployed.

The state disaster management department has asked people living in low-lying areas to move to higher ground. Officials say that since the flooding began, 378,526 people have evacuated their homes. As of 27 July, 116,688 were accommodated in 292 relief camps.

India’s Central Water Commission (CWC) report that rivers at at least 17 locations in the state are close to or above danger levels. An orange (mid level) alert has been issued for the Mahananda River at Jhawa, Katihar, which stands at 33.2 metres, well above danger level of 31.4. The highest recorded level there is 33.52 from August 1987. CWC forecast levels of the Mahananda to fall over the coming days.

Flood rescue and evacuation operations by NDRF in Kishanganj district, Bihar, July 2016. Photo: NDRF
Flood rescue and evacuation operations by NDRF in Kishanganj district, Bihar, July 2016. Photo: NDRF