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. Nearly one million evacuated from Indian floods: state

Indian flood-affected children wait for milk in the Banmankhi temporary flood relief camps at Janakinagar area in Purnia district, some 480 kms north-east of Patna on September 7, 2008. India was grappling with the task of feeding and housing close to a million villagers displaced by huge floods in the eastern state of Bihar, as the rescue effort wound down. Some 900,000 people fled from their homes or were evacuated by boat since the Kosi river breached its defences three weeks ago on the Nepal border and changed course. Photo courtesy AFP.
by Staff Writers
Patna, India (AFP) Sept 8, 2008
Nearly one million people have been evacuated in India's Bihar state where a rain-swollen river burst its banks three weeks ago and swamped hundreds of villages, an official said Monday.

"Some 971,000 people have been evacuated from districts that are flooded," Bihar's disaster management chief Pratayay Amrit said in the state capital Patna.

The official said that around 50,000 more were still marooned in the worst-hit districts of Madhepura and Sapaul, but added that they would soon be brought to safety with the military's help.

"This number will touch one million," he said.

Those plucked from their marooned homes have been housed in schools, temples, student residences and hundreds of temporary shelters, Amrit said.

The Kosi river flowing from Nepal breached its defences on August 18 and shifted away from its normal course, engulfing large swathes of Bihar, India's second most populous state.

Around 100 people are confirmed to have died in the floods, but the real number is certain to be far higher as many were simply washed away by the deep water and strong currents.

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Waters in India recede, but officials warn flood danger still high
Purnia, India (AFP) Sept 6, 2008
Some villagers began trying to return to their flooded homes in eastern India on Saturday as waters slowly receded, but officials warned the move was risky with a month of heavy rains still expected.

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