Bihar districts on flood alert after heavy rains

Patna, Oct 14 (IANS) Bihar put district authorities on a flood alert Monday as heavy rains and high speed winds swept across the state and were set to go on for another day, officials said.

The heavy rainfall under the effect of Cyclone Phailin has severely affected normal life across the state since Sunday.

"Chief Minister Nitish Kumar Monday held a high-level meeting here to review preparation to deal with flood threat and take stock of the situation in all the districts," said an official in Chief Minister's Office.

Nitish Kumar also held video-conferencing with the districts magistrates and superintendents of police, asking them to be on maximum alert and to be fully geared up for rescue and relief operations, said officials.

An official of disaster management department said the government also sounded a flood alert in the state in view of heavy rainfall since late Saturday night.

"More heavy rains are expected in Bihar in the next 24 hours," an official said.

Bad weather severely hit Durga Puja celebrations and the burning of Ravana in Patna was advanced from Monday to Sunday.

"At several places, puja pandals collapsed due to heavy rainfall and high speed winds Sunday and Monday," said a police official here.

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