Thursday, August 28, 2008

Update from ground 28th Aug 2008

This is Raj's letter sent y'day;

*Dear Mr Chandan,
Yesterday I went to the areas- Kathi, Bariya, Chunni and others. The
condition is worst there. I'm sending you the video clips which would
clearly describe the situation. The help from people of Mahatawa has been
outstanding who went with food packets on their heads & tubes into 2.5 km
inside water to deliver them to the most needy & returned from their at
about 8 pm in the evening. People residing on the uplands have been starving
for food since many days. There is hail lot of disease, small child and
other people are suffering from high fever, loose motion, & stomach pain.
They spend the whole night in darkness & in fear that they might drown by
flowing water current which was cutting the band from the sides.
Thanks to the rescue operation today which was strong enough & carried by
military people. But they still haven't reached the above areas.
Since forbesgang is a junction, & a well known areas for its surrounding so lots of flood victims are pouring in. The problem is these people do not
know where to go or where to stay. Relief camp needs to be established at
forbesganj.It will be best if this camp is controlled by a dedicated NGO. In fact I would stress it is done by your team. Let this be a model relief camp for all the others to see and follow the standards set by this camp. There
needs to be some counselors who can prepare these victims in the camp, how
they can start from zero for a better new life.
On 29th there is probably going to be a NGO meeting at Patna with the C.M.
We request you to please participate in the meeting so that the help to this area comes from the right hands.
Lastly would like to thank you for all the pain you & your friends are

Dr Manish

Rest of the videos u can get from youtube (flood in bihar supaul & araria

I am glad that we started working before even National disaster team was
scrambled and we have been continuously working in the largest town near the
biggest breach. We have saved lives, many lives and that's what counts.

So when these people thank us,that takes away all the other inconvenience
that one faces trying to do what should be done.


Kosi slides eastward, wreaks havoc

Patna, August 25: With the Kosi changing its course and reverting back to its course prior to 1731, large parts of Supaul, Araria, Madhepura, Purnea and Katihar in north Bihar lie submerged, putting several lakhs of people in distress. The last time the river had changed its course was in 1952. On August 18, a 3-km-long embankment was swept away at Kushaha in Nepal, about 7 km away from the Kosi Barrage at Birpur in Supaul. While the state Government is struggling to evacuate and rehabilitate lakhs of people, geological experts say that the river has started sliding towards the east after receding 110 km west in the last 250 years or so. Ironically, the Kosi Barrage at Birpur — meant to prevent flood — proved of no use as the river had become shallow on both sides of the barrage. The native villages of Water Resources Development Minister Bijendra Yadav, Disaster Management Minister Nitish Mishra and Disaster Management Secretary R K Singh are all submerged in floodwaters. Speaking to The Indian Express, Bhartiya Nadighati Manch convenor Bhagwanji Pathak said: “Prior to 1731, Kosi used to flow by Purnea and Forbesganj. It last changed its course in 1952. The river started sliding towards the west, flowing by Murliganj in 1892, Madhepura in 1922, Saharsa in 1936 and by 1952 it had reached Darbhanga.” The river is now flowing from Bhimnagar to Birpur, Araria and Purnea to flow into Ganges at Kursaila in Saharsa, completing its 225 km-long-journey. The unique geographical onslaught has caught the state Government unawares. The Government machinery, despite pressing over 100 motorboats and four helicopters into service, is unable to relocate people from villages that have turned into islands. Bihar’s Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi explained: “Supaul seldom faces such floods. The severity of the flood has damaged embankments and it is difficult to reach the people there. However, relief has gained momentum with disaster management officials assessing areas of concentration.” The Deputy CM added the Government would soon be raising a trained disaster management team on the pattern of Gujarat. Over 20 lakh people have been affected by the floods in 14 districts of Bihar; 42 people have died in the state, official sources said. 1.43 lakh cusecs released from alternative river route as against 22,000 cusecs at Kosi Barrage at Birpur, SupaulKosi Barrage at Birpur came up in 1954 Previous course of Kosi
• Chatra (Nepal)
• Bhimnagar Barrage at Birpur (Supaul)
• Nabhatta in Saharsa
• Mahesi and Chandrain
• Kopadia in Khagaria where Kosi meets streams of seven rivers
• Merges with Ganges at Kursaila in Katihar Present course
• Sunsarai (Nepal)
• Birpur in Supaul
• Bhimnagar
• Balwa
• Chhotaghat
• Lalpur
• Parsa
• Chhapin
• Sitapur
• Basmatia in Araria
• Tenghara-Bhokraha in Madhepura
• Sonbarsa where it merges with Sursar
Indian Express

Kosi devastates Bihar; 2 million homeless

PATNA: This is India's Katrina, only the challenges could be bigger. Like the Mississippi breached the levee to drown an unsuspecting New Orleans in the US, the mighty Kosi river in north Bihar has broken its embankment to pick up a channel it had abandoned over 200 years ago, drowning towns, numerous villages and rendering over a million homeless. Many are reported to have died.
Officials here say it's a catastrophe unlike annual floods. The brimming river has breached its embankment near the Bhimnagar barrage, close to the Nepal border, and is rushing down as a miles-wide stream to the Ganga, over almost 100km south. Unlike floods, this is not calm water but an angry torrent, making relief work very difficult.
Bihar CM Nitish Kumar said on Monday that over 2 million people have been affected by the Kosi. Ranjeeta Ranjan, MP from Saharsa, one of the flood-hit districts, said that over a million have become homeless. She said that over a hundred have died and she had personally seen bodies in the roiling waters.
What's alarming officials is that the 3km wide breach is growing by about 200 metres a day. The Bhimnagar barrage is just 12km away, and should the breach reach the barrage, huge inhabited areas of Supaul, Saharsa, Araria, Madhepura, Katihar and Purnea districts would be drowned, spelling an even bigger disaster.
Repair work on the breach has to be undertaken in Nepal, but when an Indian team reached there, it had to leave in the face of violent protests. Officials say full Central involvement in disaster management is essential — both to take up the issue with Nepal and for assistance in relief.
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