1,500 houses submerged
RAJBIRAJ, July 2: Incessant rainfall in the hill districts since Friday midnight has triggered floods in various rivers of Saptari district. Floodwaters have overflowed from Khado, Jeeta, Mahuli, Dhudhela along with other rivers, putting over a dozen settlements at risk and inundating about 1,500 houses in the district.
The flooded rivers have damaged rods, culverts along with other important infrastructures.
Areas including Tilathi, Sakarpura, Rampura Malhaniya, Basbitti, Pauwa, Musaharniya Piparahi, Rupani, Pakari, Trikaul, Lohajara, Mainakderi, Bhardaha, Portaha along with other villages and cities of the district have been hit hard, according to the local authorities.
District Police Office (DPO), Saptari, said around 800 houses are estimated to be submerged. However, Superintendent of Police (SP) Anurag Dwibedi, chief of the DPO, said that the number could go up significantly.
“We have deployed teams to collect data on the number of houses inundated by the floods,” said SP Dwibedi. “Floods have also eroded roads in many places. Data collection and rescue works have been very challenging,” he added.
According to Mithilesh Jha, ward secretary of Tilathi-Koiladi Rural Municipality-9, most of the houses in wards 1 to 9 of Tilathi have been submerged. “We are not in a position to give the exact number but almost the entire rural municipality has been submerged in the floods,” said Jha, adding that data collection is currently underway.
According to him, the floods entered the villages after the western embankment at Khado River was damaged at two places. “At one place, 70 meter long section of the embankment has been damaged while at the other place it's about 100 meters,” Jha said.
Authorities have said that many houses of the villages have been waterlogged by about four feet. Most of the tube-wells and toilets of the villages have been submerged as well.
Likewise, Tilathi's rural municipality office, ward offices, health post, Rajbiraj Customs Office, police post, Armed Police Force border outpost, schools along with other facilities have also been submerged in the flood, according to Inspector Jibesh Pandey of the border outpost at Tilathi.
Flood in the Khando River have affected most of the areas of ward 9 and 10 of Rajbiraj Municipality, according to Khelananda Yadav of Rajbiraj-10. According to him, about 150 families in the ward are at high risk.
As the floods have submerged houses, rendering kitchen and basic necessities useless, the flood victims have no place to cook food and are left to stay empty-stomach. Even the children have nothing to eat. Such is the plight in most of the flood-affected areas of Saptari.
“There is three feet water inside my house. It's not possible to cook. In this condition, it's not even possible to go outside the house and bring food,” said Rajesh Mandal of Tilathi-2.
The floods have created not only food scarcity, but also water scarcity as many tube-wells have been submerged.
Authorities have not been able to reach all the flood-affected areas of the district. Local authorizes have not even finished collecting data on the victims, let alone initiate works to provide them relief and compensation.