Floods Claim 144 Lives in Assam, 250 Killed in Bihar, West Bengal and UP


Flood situation in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Assam and West Bengal seems to be worsening day-by-day as heavy rains continue to wreck havoc. The increase in water levels of the lakes and rivers have affected lakhs across these states. Railway services in these states have also been affected, with many lines damaged by the rains. In Assam, over 140 animal carcasses were found at Kaziranga National Park on Friday. Eight rivers are flowing above the danger level in the state whereas, in Bihar, the death toll due to floods climbed to 153 on Friday while those marooned in 17 districts of the state crossed the 1 crore mark.

In West Bengal, three more deaths were reported on Friday due to floods, taking the death toll to 52. However, a report suggested on Friday that the floodwaters have started receding as there has been no rain in the past 24 hours. Meanwhile, in Uttar Pradesh, floods have claimed over 40 lives so far. However, the condition seems to be improving in the state.

A total of 31.55 lakh people are affected at present in the state, as per the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA). The deluge has hit around 8.13 lakh people in Dhubri, followed by Morigaon with 5.30 lakh people. The death toll rose to 144 on Friday as 11 persons lost their lives due to the deluge. The floods have inundated 80 per cent of the 481 square kilometre area of the Kaziranga National Park claiming lives of over 140 animals, including seven rhinos. Notably, railway services are also affected in the region as many operation of many trains stand cancelled. On Friday, the Northern Railway informed that Guwahati Sampark Kranti Express from Delhi will remain cancelled on August 20.

Around 1.08 crore people have been hit by floods in 17 districts and 1,688 panchayats of Bihar. On Friday, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar reviewed the flood situation and gave necessary instruction to officials. Araria district accounted for 30 deaths, West Champaran 23, Sitamarhi 13, Madhubani 8 and Katihar 7. 11 each have died in Kisanganj, East Champaran and Supual and 9 each in Purnea and Madhepura. Four deaths each were reported in Darbhanga, Gopalganj and Saharsa, 3 each in Khagaria and Sheohar, 2 in Saran and 1 in Muzaffarpur. Reportedly, a total of 28 National Disaster Response Force teams comprising 1,152 personnel are rendering services in the marooned areas with the help of 118 boats. Seven Army teams with 2,228 personnel are assisting relief and rescue operation with the help of 280 boats.

The water levels of all major rivers receded on Friday even as the death toll, due to floods, rose to 52 in West Bengal.

A PTI report quotes West Bengal Panchyat Minister Subrata Mukherjee as informing that the roads and pipelines for supplying drinking water have been badly damaged in the calamity. In all, over 15 lakh people have been affected by the floods in Coochbehar, Dakshin Dinajpur, Uttar Dinajpur, Jalpaiguri, Alipurduar and Malda districts in north Bengal since July 21. On Friday, for the sixth consecutive day, the train services to different destinations in north Bengal and Assam from Howrah and Sealdah stations remained suspended. Bus services between the southern and northern parts of the state also remain suspended for the last five days owing to inundation of national highway 34 and 31.

The flood situation in Uttar Pradesh has showed some signs of retreat. Out of the total 52 deaths reported from the state, over 10 have been recorded in Bahraich district. Meanwhile, Army was called in to help in the rescue operation as rains and discharge of water in rivers continue to worsen the situation in eastern part of the state. The movement of traffic on the Gorakhpur-Sonauli road towards Nepal came to a standstill. Villagers from all the affected areas are being shifted to safer places. Several districts in the eastern region of the state including Balrampur, Basti, Siddhartnagar, Barabanki, Ayodhya, Lakhimpur, Mahrajganj, Gonda are facing floods.

Noteworthy, a Press Trust of India (PTI) report suggests that the Indian railways has incurred a loss of nearly Rs 150 crore in the last seven days due to floods in Assam, West Bengal, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. The Northeast Frontier Railway lost approximately Rs 12 crore per day as revenue from passengers and parcel, while repairs of submerged tracks would cost an estimated Rs 10 crore.