Over five million people hit by Bihar floods

Patna, Sep 1 (IANS) There was no let up in the fury of floods in over a dozen Bihar districts Sunday with major swollen rivers, including the Ganga, affecting more than five million people, officials said.

According to the state government, the toll in floods this year has gone up to 132.

"Major rivers, including the Ganga, Sone, Budhi Gandak, Kosi and Gandak, are not showing receding trend so far, a bad news for hundreds of thousands of people affected by floods," said an official of the central water commission.

In Patna, the Ganga was flowing above the danger mark but District Magistrate N. Saravana Kumar said the city was safe from flood.

"There was no need to panic," Kumar said.

Reports from Bhagalpur, Buxar, Begusarai and Munger, Khagaria districts said that flood situation has worsened with the swirling Ganga causing havoc in over 1,000 villages.

"The flood water submerged the national highway at several places," an official of disaster management department said.

Bihar Water Resources Minister Vijay Kumar Choudhary said necessary instructions to prevent flooding have been given to officials.

"The government has deployed many joint teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and state disaster response," he said.

Vayasji, principal secretary of disaster management department, said that district authorities have set up relief camps for the flood affected in most of the affected areas.

"Rescue and relief operations have been speeded up in flood-hit districts," Vayasji said.

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