Motihari: Thousands of people have been affected by a flash flood that has hit Bihar’s East Champaran  district in the wake of torrential rain that lashed catchment areas  of Nepal recently causing a rise in water levels of the river Gandak.

According to District Magistrate Shirshat Kapil Ashok, altogether 45,061 residents of 52 villages have so far been affected by the flood and 1,154 have been rescued from marooned areas with the help of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) teams.

Last week, adjoining areas of Nepal had received more than 200 mm rainfall within 48 hours and all the gates of Valmiki Nagar barrage, situated close to the border between the two countries, had to be opened to prevent a breach.

According to Ashok, the water level in the barrage has since receded by about six metres and stood at 106.83 metres, nearly three metres below the danger mark.

The Gandak river was flowing at 63.08 metres, more than a metre above the danger mark though it has dropped from the peak level of 64.20 metres recorded last week.

Altogether 19 boats have been pressed into service for the rescue of residents stranded in submerged areas. There has been no loss of life so far, the DM added.

"We are carrying out the distribution of ration packets among the needy and monitoring of ring dams in coordination with local administration", said Shalini Mishra, an MLA of the ruling Janata Dal (United) who represents Kesariya, which is

among the worst-hit by the calamity.

According to a release issued by the water resources department in the State capital, the water level in most of the rivesr was stable.

Light rainfall is predicted across the State on Tuesday.

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