Patna: Twenty-nine people were killed and several stranded after incessant rains in Bihar brought the state to a standstill, with the weather department predicting more rains in the next 24 hours.
Patna, Bhagalpur and Kaimur districts of Bihar were lashed by rains for 48 hours, a “totally unexpected” phenomenon according to the Met department, which disrupted road and rail traffic. Schools have been closed till Tuesday and boats and municipal cranes were used to rescue people stranded in inundated areas. 19 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed in affected areas of Bihar
The Bihar government has asked the Indian Air Force for two helicopters to lift and airdrop food packets and medicines in the flood-affected areas of Patna. It has also asked for de-watering machines.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday said: “We are making all possible efforts. I would appeal to the people of the state to have patience and courage. Torrential rain have followed a prolonged dry spell which vindicates our government’s resolve to combat climate change through environmental preservation.”
A bird’s eye view of Patna made the city appear like a huge lake dotted with structures of concrete while low-lying areas like Rajendra Nagar and Pataliputra Colony — home to many prominent citizens, private hospitals and medical stores and situated several kilometres apart — were submerged in waist-deep water.
Principal Secretary, Disaster Management department, Pratyay Amrit said: “It was unexpected. The weather department had last week predicted heavy rainfall for many parts of Bihar but not Patna. We are trying our best to rescue people from inundated areas with the help of NDRF and SDRF. The sump houses are working overtime. However, water entering power sub-stations poses a challenge.”
The situation is equally grim in Uttar Pradesh, where 93 lives were lost in rain-related incidents. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has cancelled the leaves of all government officials in view of the situation.
“Immediate provisions should be made to pump out water from the flooded areas, and relief material should be provided to people affected by flood. In view of the incessant rain, no official will be granted leave,” a government statement said quoting Adityanath.