NEW DELHI :
Bihar is battling floods yet again this monsoon season, as water level in the Ganga and other rivers surged after heavy rainfall continued to lash the region.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a red warning for heavy rain in the state for Sunday and Monday, directing the state and local authorities to step up action. Bihar, which is also India’s most flood prone state, has witnessed very heavy rainfall during the past two days.
On Saturday, the state received 84.5 mm rainfall against the normal of 5.7 mm. The highest rainfall was recorded in Samastipur, Bhagalpur, Begusarai, and Bhojpur districts, which received rainfall above 130 mm in last 24 hours.
According to the forecast, the rainfall is likely to remain intense over the next 24 hours and begin to decrease after Monday evening. Many rivers in North Bihar have been rising and are flowing close to the danger level. River Bagmati is flowing in severe flood situation and is expected to rise at Dheng Bridge, Runisaidpur in Sitamarhi district and Benibad in Muzzafarpur district, according to Central Water Commission (CWC).
River Ganga is flowing in severe flood situation at Dighaghat, Gandhighat, Hathidah, Munger, Bhagalpur and Kahalgaon in Patna, Begusarai, Munger and Bhagalpur districts, respectively, due to previous flood.
Severe flood in Ganga river could continue over the next two days, with IMD predicting heavy rains over East Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh during the next 24 hours. This could lead to additional contribution from both north and south bank tributaries for another three days.
Patna is among the worst affected, with flood-like situation in the city and its suburban areas.
“Since the situation is likely to continue for at least another 24 hours, maximum vigil along the rivers as well as urban drains have to be maintained for sudden flood like situation in association with intense rain spells during the warning period," stated CWC in its latest update.
The ongoing monsoon season has been quite detrimental for the state, leading to floods after every brief spell of heavy rains in the state and neighboring Nepal, which leads to heavy inflow in the rivers of the state.
While, every monsoon season comes with its own set of variations, scientists highlight that extreme rainfall events are on the rise in the country on a long-term scale. There are longer dry spells, and more intense rainfall concentrated in fewer days.
This explains why Bihar was facing rain deficit of upto 20% until September 19. However, the current heavy rain spell brought down the rain deficit in the state to -2 %, as the monsoon season nears it closure.
Normally, monsoon begins to retreat around September 1. However, this year it is seeing a delay of over a month. At present, the overall monsoon remains excess to the tune of 9% over the entire country.
According to IMD, the withdrawal of monsoon from West Rajasthan could commence only during the second week of October, with probability of increased rainfall activity over west Rajasthan in the first week of October.