Wednesday, June 29: After the monsoon’s relatively staid entry into East India, the conditions have intensified this week, and it seems like the monsoonal rains are hell-bent on making up for the lost time as they continue to batter the state of Bihar.
Almost destructive in their fury, the rains have resulted in flood threats, and the accompanying thunderstorms and lightning strikes have claimed several lives in north Bihar.
To make matters worse, more heavy rains are expected to lash the state until for the rest of the week.
Lightning strikes and flooding in north Bihar
In the last 24 hours, the violent weather resulted in the death of 16 individuals from various districts of Bihar. Of those killed by the lightning strikes, four hailed from East Champaran, three each from Bhojpur and Saran, two each from Araria and West Champaran, and one each from Banka and Muzaffarpur. These recent deaths have brought June’s weather-related death toll in Bihar to 36.
Apart from the thunderstorms and lightning, north Bihar districts also faced threats of flooding as many rivers in the region rose above the danger mark on Tuesday, June 28.
The rise in water levels of the Nuna river in Araria flooded several villages after washing away the embankment at Sikti block. Flood water also damaged a section of the road connecting Sikti and Singhiya.
Along with the Nuna River, the Lohandra River also flowed above the danger mark, and flood water entered several villages in the Kursakanta block. In the Jokihat block, the Parman and Bakrav rivers were 10 centimetres above the danger mark.
The flooding affected several villages in Araria, Purnea, Kishanganj, Katihar in Seemanchal, East Champaran, West Champaran, Gopalganj, Supaul and some other districts.
Intense rains to continue lashing Bihar on Wednesday
As per the India Meteorological Department (IMD), an east-west trough runs from northwest Rajasthan to the west-central Bay of Bengal off the south Odisha coast, and this system is expected to strengthen in the subsequent 2-3 days. Under the influence of the trough, moist winds from the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea will dampen the weather in the northern parts of the country.
Accordingly, isolated extremely heavy rains will lash Bihar on Wednesday, June 29, while isolated heavy rainfall is expected across the state on Thursday, June 30. Further, rainfall amounts exceeding of 150mm/day are possible in isolated places of Bihar on Wednesday.
In view of these predictions, the IMD has placed a red warning over Bihar for Wednesday, so as to urge the locals to “take action” and keep themselves safe from the heavy rains, thunderstorms and lightning. The advisory level will be downgraded to an orange alert for Thursday to indicate the need to “be prepared” for the inclement weather.
As for district-level alerts on Wednesday, a red alert has been placed over East and West Champaran, while orange alerts have been issued over the remaining districts of Bihar.
States neighbouring Bihar also have a similar fate, with Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Sikkim and West Bengal all set to experience heavy rainfall.
Since the beginning of the monsoon period on June 1, Bihar has seen deficient rainfall and recorded merely 99.5 mm rains until June 28 — 29% lesser than its average for the period (140.4 mm). Within the state, except for Supaul, Purnia, Kishanganj and Araria, the remaining 34 districts have all received below-normal rainfall thus far.
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