Army Assists Flood-hit UP, Bihar to Control Spread of Water-borne Diseases

by VR Sreeraman on Aug 7 2007 4:29 PM

Indian Army doctors have joined hands with the district administration in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar to provide medical relief to people affected by water-borne diseases due to floods caused by incessant rains.

"On our part, we have made all necessary medical arrangements here. We have all the facilities and equipment, such as oxygen cylinders, examination trays and also good quality antibiotics," Captain Deepak Kumar, an army doctor, said.

Flood victims continued to lash out at the State Government for not doing enough.

"The Government has not provided us with any facilities… everything was looted," said Radhe Shyam, a flood victim.

Many areas remained still inaccessible with the water levels yet to come down.

In Ayodhya city, a hermitage was inundated in floodwater.

"The holy men here were well taken care off, but due to the excessive water logging, we are facing a lot of problem," said Ramagya Das, a holy man.

At least 487 people have drowned, died from snakebites, hunger or water-borne diseases, or have been crushed to death or electrocuted since devastating monsoon floods submerged larges areas in these states.

Incessant monsoon rains over the past weeks have displaced millions of people, destroying crops and homes in parts of UP and Bihar.

Hundreds have died over the past 12 days after torrential monsoon rains lashed the region, causing rivers to burst their banks.

In Darbhanga District, one of the worst affected, large swathes of land remained inundated in floodwater, forcing people to take shelter on small strips of raised land.

Even roads have been washed away in the deluge and railways tracks submerged in water, cutting several areas off from the rest of the state.

In Varanasi, a swollen River Ganges made it difficult for people to get to the riverbank.

Thousands have been marooned in floodwaters in UP. At least 105 people have died in house collapses, lightning and boat tragedies as heavy rains lashed across the state. Several thousands have been affected as 1,100 villages were marooned of the over 2,000 affected by floods in 20 districts.

Over 250 people have died and over 60 lakh people have been marooned in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Assam over the past 11 days after torrential monsoon rains, which also destroyed crops and homes.

Indian Air Force helicopters were pressed into service in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district, which is said to be the worst affected in the state.

Bihar receives an average of 1,200 millimeters rainfall annually, but in most places, it has already received 500-700 mm of rainfall in July.

According to the UNICEF, over 1,100 people have died so far during this year's monsoon.

UNICEF said the scale of disaster has posed an "unprecedented challenge" for aid workers.