Death toll in Bihar flood climbs to 106, more than 80 lakh affected
(PTI Photo)

Patna: The death toll in Bihar floods climbed to 106 on Tuesday, with two more people losing their lives in the calamity that affected a population of 80.55 lakh in 12 districts of the state, officials said.

However, water levels have started receding in several districts and consequently the number of relief camps and those taking shelter has also gone down considerably, Disaster Management Department officials said. Both the casualties have taken place since Monday in Madhubani district where the total number of deaths rose to 25. Sitamarhi, with 27 deaths, tops the list among the 12 flood-affected districts.

Among the other districts, Araria has reported 12 deaths followed by Sheohar and Darbhanga (10 each), Purnea (nine), Kishanganj (five), Supaul (three), East Champaran and Muzaffarpur (two each) and Saharsa (one). Katihar remains the only district affected by the calamity, which has reported no casualty so far. The number of people affected by floods stood at 80.55 lakh, who are residents of villages falling under 105 blocks, the officials said.

Flash floods were caused by unusually heavy rainfall in neighbouring Nepal earlier this month that led about half a dozen rivers flowing through the state to swell. With a let up in rainfall in Nepal's Terai region for the past few days, water levels have begun to recede. The number of relief camps on Tuesday was 54, as against more than 130 a week ago and the number of people staying at those places has gone down from over one lakh to 29,400, the officials said.

However, the need for relief material, including food, remained, and therefore, 812 community kitchens were still functioning, they said. Distribution of chlorine tablets and bleaching powder, to prevent outbreak of water-borne disease, was being undertaken on a war footing and additional number of doctors were being deployed in the flood-hit districts. Officials showing laxity in relief work were being taken to task. A release from Muzaffarpur said the district magistrate has ordered withholding salaries of two officials on this count.

Flood victims are being provided assistance by the government through the Public Financial Management System under which each family is receives an aid of Rs 6,000 directly in their bank accounts. Instructions are also in place for expeditious disbursement of ex-gratia to the next of the kin of each of the deceased, the Chief Minister's office said here.

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