Patna: The toll in devastating floods which left hundreds of thousands homeless in Bihar rose to 170 on Wednesday, said an official.
More than 5.5 million people have been affected by floods in 20 districts of the state.
Swirling Ganga continued to play havoc in nearly a dozen districts, including Bhagalgur, Kharagpur and Begusarai, putting pressure on embankments that pose serious threat to several small towns and hundreds of villages.
Fresh areas have been inundated since Tuesday in these districts, an official said.
State Water Resources Development Minister Vijay Kumar Choudhary told media persons here that for the first time in the last decade, the Ganga has risen beyond its previous record levels.
But, he quickly added that all river embankments were safe and there was no need to panic.
Arun Kumar, an official of Water Resources Development, said that flood situation would improve by Thursday as all the major rivers are showing signs of receding.
Officials said standing crops, including bananas, worth crores of rupees have been destroyed and road communication at several places has snapped.
"Rising rivers have badly hit paddy cultivation and destroyed standing banana and maize crops in Vaishali, Khagaria, Bhagalpur and other districts," he said.