Floods claimed two more lives in Bihar on Saturday taking the numbers of deaths to 13, while the number of people affected by the calamity inched closer to 50 lakh as the waters of overflowing rivers reach fresh areas of the state's northern part.
According to the bulletin issued by the state disaster management, two fresh casualties were reported from Muzaffarpur district. Earlier, Darbhanga and West Champaran had reported seven and four deaths respectively.
The number of people affected by the floods, across 14 districts, stood at 49.05 lakhs, up from 45.39 lakhs on Friday.
The number of affected panchayats too has risen to 1,043 from 1,012 on the previous day.
According to the department, the state has received a total average rainfall of 768.5 mm since the onset of monsoon, which was 46 per cent above normal.
This has led to a rise in water levels of most rivers flowing through the state, especially those originating in Nepal and crisscrossing the northern districts, known for bringing along huge deposits of silt.
More than a quarter of the affected populace resides in the three adjoining districts of East Champaran, Gopalganj and Saran, all of which fall in the Gandak basin, named after the river that enters Bihar from Nepal through the remote West Champaran district.
Other rivers which have been flowing above danger levels at various places include Koshi, Budhi Gandak, Kamla, Bagmati and Adhwara. Besides these districts, those ravaged by the deluge so far are Khagaria, Kishanganj, Sitamarhi, Madhubani, Sheohar, Siwan and Samastipur.
Sixteen cattle have also been killed in the floods till date, according to the bulletin.
Relief and rescue work is, meanwhile, in full swing with 29 teams of NDRF and SDRF pressed into service.
The number of people evacuated till date was 3.92 lakh, an addition of about 16,000 since the previous day.
Only 26,732 people have, however, taken shelter at 19 relief camps. Care was being taken to ensure that social distancing measures and other precautions against the COVID 19 pandemic were in place at the camps and community kitchens set up for flood victims.
Close to 9 lakh people were being fed at 1,340 community kitchens, which are functioning in 11 of the affected districts.