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Flood alert sounded in Bihar as Nepal releases water into Kosi

By Hemant Abhishek | Last Updated: Sunday, August 3, 2014 - 01:21

Zee Media Bureau/Hemant Abhishek

New Delhi: In a grim reminder of the 2008 deluge, a landslide in Nepal that led to the creation of an artificial dam on river Kosi was cleared with a controlled blast leading to an imminent possibility of floods in Bihar.

Early on Saturday morning, a landslide killed eight people when mud and rocks came crashing down and blocked the Sun Kosi river.

A small village was buried and at least 150 people were reported missing.

Following the landslide around 2 am, the river formed a large lake in Sindhupalchowk district, about 60 km from Kathmandu.

Water level of the Sun Kosi river - one of the major tributaries of the Kosi river in Nepal - increased rapidly following the blockage.
As approximately 20-27 lakh cusecs of water collected in the artificial lake, the blockage was cleared with a controlled blast at the blockage site, officials and residents said.

Taking stock of the situation, Indian government has made efforts to control the damage, a release by the Ministry of Information and Broadcast said on Saturday.

Evacuation has begun in 22 panchayats of Supaul and seven other districts informed the release and added that eight teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and four teams of the State Disaster Response Force have been pressed into service.

The Bihar government issued an alert over likely floods in Supaul, Saharsa, Purnea and Madhepura districts in the Kosi region.

An additional 7 teams of the NDRF are being mobilised from neighbouring state of West Bengal, it said.

It was earlier informed that Nepalese authorities are making "controlled breaches" in the artificial dam so that water can be released slowly and in less quantity. But the possibility of a flood is imminent say locals in Bihar.

State`s Water Resources Minister Vijay Kumar Chaudhary said the government sounded the alert after massive landslides Friday night over one of the major tributaries of the Kosi river blocked the course of the main river in Nepal killing eight people and trapping many more.

The state disaster management department has asked officials to start evacuation of people living near the embankments of the Kosi in four districts.

"We have directed the district administrations to evacuate people and see that they don`t get trapped when the river level increases. Hundreds of thousands of people live in villages situated within the embankments of the Kosi," said disaster management department special secretary Anirudh Kumar.

As per information received from the Nepalese Authorities, the flow of the river Sunkoshi/Bhotekoshi in Mangkha Village Development Committee area in Sindhupalchowk District has been blocked on account of landslide. The formation of a large water body thereby can create a potential danger of inundation in areas downstream of the Kosi barrage which is about 270 Kms from location of the blockage.

Bihar Government has been put on alert. They have started taking action for evacuation of persons living in villages lying within the embankment area in 22 panchayats of Supaul district and other 7 districts of Bihar. Relief camps including cattle relief camps are being organised for the evacuated families.

The Prime Minister has directed that all possible help should be provided to the affected areas. 8 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and 4 teams of the State Disaster Response Force have been pressed into service. An additional 7 teams of the NDRF are being mobilized from neighboring state of West Bengal.

First Published: Saturday, August 2, 2014 - 19:37

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