The swollen Bagmati River has breached its embankment in Bihar's Sitamarhi and Muzaffarpur districts, flooding hundreds of villages and forcing the villagers to take shelter at higher planes for safety.
Official sources in Sitamarhi said on Saturday that the Bagmati River breached a dozen-feet stretch of the embankment at Tilakrajpur early on Saturday morning, inundating dozens of villages and affecting over 10,000 people.
Some people were feared drowned but this was not confirmed by the district administration. "The government has directed local administrations to start rescue and relief operations soon," officials said.
In Muzaffarpur, Bagmati breached the embankment at three places and flooded over 100 villages in Katra and Aurai blocks on Saturday. The panic-stricken villagers have taken shelter on roofs, in school buildings and other dry places.
Bihar Disaster Management Minister Devesh Thakur told rediff.com that no casualties had been reported till now. "My department has ordered officials to rush to flooded areas to help the affected people," he said.
Following heavy rains in their catchment areas in Nepal, major rivers in northern Bihar including Kosi [ Images ], Gandak, Budhi and Bagmati have been flowing at dangerous levels and threatening to overflow for the last three days, officials of the Flood Control Cell said.
The state government has already alerted the local administration of all flood-prone districts.
Last year, a breach in Kosi River's embankment had caused devastating floods in northern Bihar, affecting over 30 lakh people.