Bihar, Assam floods 2019: Death toll mounts to 197 as heavy rains batter flood-hit areas, over 1.20 crore people affected

Bihar, Assam flood situation 2019: At least 197 people have been killed and over 1.24 crore people have been affected as the flood situation in Bihar and Assam aggravated as a result of heavy rains in the past few days. As per government data, the death toll in Bihar rose to 123 on Wednesday with the death of 17 people. In Assam, the flood claimed six more lives taking the total figure to 74. Almost all districts of north Bihar have been affected by the deluge, with Darbhanga, Madhubani and Sitamarhi being the worst affected areas. Bihars disaster management department said on Wednesday that the death toll in Sitamarhi district had risen to 37 from 27 earlier. The Sitamarhi district is among the worst-affected 12 districts of Bihar where the flood was triggered by torrential rainfall in catchment areas of Nepal. While five more people died in Madhubani, taking the toll to 30, the figure in Muzaffarpur rose from two to 4. The department has put the total number of people affected by the floods at 81.57 lakh in 105 blocks of 12 districts. Death figures remained unchanged for eight other districts Araria (12), Sheohar and Darbhanga (10 each), Purnea (nine), Kishanganj (five), Supaul (three), East Champaran (two) and Saharsa (one). Katihar district has reported no casualties yet. The disaster management department said that after a brief let-up in the situation, the state is once again receiving above normal rainfall and for the past couple of days the situation has worsened. Officials said that water levels had begun to recede but many districts received very heavy rainfall on Wednesday, causing the situation to worsen. On Wednesday, many parts of West Champaran, which has so far not been counted among the flood-hit districts, were submerged as rivers swelled. The overall average rainfall received by the state stood at 28.9 mm, 221% above normal. An NDRF release said that in view of the change in flood situation, the force has shifted one team from Sitamarhi to West Champaran while another team deployed at Katihar has been asked to move to Gopalganj. The Central Air Command issued a statement that the Bihar government had made a request to deploy helicopters to join the relief operations. It said that two helicopters have been deployed to Darbhanga to join the operations. According to a PTI report, food is being prepared at 835 community kitchens for the flood victims. A total of 42 relief camps have been set up where those displaced by the calamity have taken shelter. In Assam, the disaster management authority said that flood waters have inundated 20 of all 33 districts, affecting 38.82 lakh people.