As some parts of India continue to experience deficient rains, parts of the northern states of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand and eastern states of Bihar, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh have been inundated by incessant, heavy rains and swollen rivers that are flowing above the danger mark. The death toll in the current spell of heavy rains has almost touched 100 and a few million people have been displaced.
Unprecedented floods in Uttar Pradesh
The number of people killed in flood-ravaged Uttar Pradesh rose to 49 on Monday with water in the swollen Rapti river rising continuously.
According to Central Water Commission (CWC), Rapti river rose to 105.47 metre, 0.85 metres above the danger mark. CWC said in a statement that the floods in the state are “unprecedented”. Not only Rapti, the river Ghaghra too rose to 107.61 m, which is 1.54m above the danger mark of 106.07 m. Floods in the Bhada, Kaudiyala and Gerua rivers in Nepal is reported to have led the Ghaghra and Saryu in Bahraich and the Rapti in Shravasti to swell.
According to the latest forecast by CWC, the two places where water level in the Rapti and the Ghagra rivers are the highest are Balrampur district and Elgin Bridge in Barabanki district of the state. While water level at Balarampur is now receding, water level in the Ghagra river is still on the rise. The highest that Rapti had reached during floods was 105.25m on September 11, 2000 while the higest level touched by Ghagra in Barabanki was 107.55m on October 10, 2009.
The floods have seriously affected districts of Bahraich, Shravasti, Balrampur, Gonda, Lakhimpur, Barabanki, Sitapur, Faizabad and Azamgarh. According to chief secretary Alok Ranjan, around 1,000 to 1,500 villages have been affected by the floods. Teams of Uttar Pradesh Provincial Armed Constabulary and Sashastra Seema Bal has been sent to the flood affected areas for relief and rescue operations.
Ranjan also said that Bahraich was the worst hit with 202 affected villages. A National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team deployed in the area and army has provided two helicopters for relief and rescue work. The extent of crop and property damage is yet to be ascertained.
According to National Disaster Management Authority, of the 24.1 million hectares area of the state, about 7.31 million hectares is flood prone. An average of 2.7 million hectares area is affected annually, and the estimated loss to crops, houses and livestock is to the tune of Rs 432 crore annually.
Flood situation worsens in Bihar
The Kosi region of Bihar is once again facing heavy floods, bringing back memories of the deadly flood that displaced three million people and left over 200 dead on August 18, 2008.