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Nepal releases Kosi water, floods Bihar villages

Patna (IANS): Hundreds of people in Bihar’s Saharsa and Supaul districts were forced to abandon their homes as dozens of villages were flooded after heavy discharge into the Kosi river from Nepal, officials said on Thursday.

“The floodwater has already entered dozens of villages in two districts following incessant rains in catchment areas (in Nepal) and heavy discharge into the Kosi (by Nepal),” the official said.
The floodwater is posing a threat to the river’s embankments and endangering thousands of villagers who are spending sleepless nights due to fear.

An official of the water resources development department said that more than 100,000 cusecs water was discharged into the Kosi river from Nepal in the last 24 hours. Two days ago also, a heavy discharge resulted in raising the river’s water level.

According to an official of the state disaster management department here, hundreds of people have taken shelter on the high rise embankments, national highways and in government buildings in view of the Kosi’s rising water level since Monday.

However, Saharsa district magistrate Misbah Bari told IANS over telephone that there was no need to panic. “The situation is under control and district officials are keeping close vigil on the embankments,” he said.

Bihar Water Resources Development Minister Vijay Kumar Choudhary said all embankments were safe and there was no need to panic.

The state government has asked engineers and district officials to keep a 24-hour vigil.

Choudhary said the eastern Kosi embankment, which had breached in 2008, flooding five districts of northern Bihar, was safe.

In 2008, over three million people were rendered homeless in Bihar when the Kosi river breached its bank upstream in Nepal and changed course. It was said to be the worst flood in the state in the last 50 years.

Published Date: Thursday, July 5th, 2012 | 06:03 AM

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