Heavy rain, floods create havoc in 3 states

Patna/Guwahati/Kolkata : Heavy rains in the last three days triggered flash floods in parts of Bihar, where many people have died so far, and inundated large areas in Assam and North Bengal, paralysing normal life and snapping rail link to the Northeast from the rest of the country.

In Arunachal Pradesh too, the flood situation continued to be grim in several districts with recurring landslides disrupting road traffic.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who conducted an aerial survey of flood-hit areas, said that Araria was the worst effected district and water has entered the district headquarters. Flood waters have engulfed areas in Kisanganj, three blocks of Purnea and one block of Katihar damaging roads. He said heavy rains in Nepal and Bihar in last three days have led to the situation and the state government is carrying out relief operations in flooded areas on a war-footing. Forty-one people have died in floods in Bihar so far, according to Pratyay Amrit, principal Secretary, disaster management department.

Kumar said principal secretaries of disaster management, road construction and rural development departments would make an aerial survey tomorrow to prepare a detailed report of damage.

The CM thanked the Centre for prompt response in providing assistance to the state after he telephoned Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday. Kumar said he also spoke to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Defence minister Arun Jaitley on the flood situation.

The Chief Minister said that besides the Army column(around 50 personnel) which was sent to Purnea, four teams of NDRF had arrived in Bihar yesterday and six more NDRF teams landed today to assist the state.

The Railway Board has decided to cancel all incoming trains from various parts of the country towards northeast region, which were to reach either Katihar or Malda town till 10 am of August 16, 2017, North Eastern Frontier Railway Chief Public Relations Officer Pranav Jyoti Sharma said in a statement.

“Heavy rainfall in the last 72 hours in West Bengal, Bihar, Assam and other NE states had resulted in railway operations being severely hampered as rain water has inundated railway tracks at several places in Katihar and Alipurduar division of NF Railway,” Sharma said.

However, train connectivity from New Jalpaiguri to Guwahati, Guwahati to Dibrugarh and Murkongselek continued to be normal.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said, “We are concerned about the flood situation across the country. Earlier floods had affected south Bengal. Now north Bengal was also affected. We are monitoring the situation round-the-clock for relief and rescue operations”. Though the Border Road Task Force has deployed men and machines to clear road blockades, recurring landslides were hampering restoration work, officials said.     — PTI

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