Even as he faked calmness, Dr Shakeel-ur Rahman was in turmoil as he tried to save a two-year-old girl suffering from acute diarrhoea. He needed to put her on intravenous therapy but the doctor and his staff could not locate her veins.

The Kosi, bursting through its embankment at Kusaha in Nepal, has swung 120 km eastwards, changing the lives of thousands of people.

IN the tsunami of December 2004, people heard a strange, deep rumbling before columns of the sea came in. In 2008, the people of north Bihar had no such warning. The river was silent and swift, rising from a deceptive two feet to nearly eight feet in a matter of hours, trapping lakhs of people in remote villages in the districts of Purnea, Madhepura, Araria, Supaul, Saharsa and Kul.

The fishes are gasping, not out of the water this time. Rather in the water itself!

AUGUST 18,2008. In the wee hours of the day, the river Kosi breaches the embankments in Kusaha, Nepal, leaving in its wake an awesome trail of death and destruction downstream in Bihar's northern plains. Panic-stricken, people run helter skelter ooking for high ground, railway tracks, trees, whatever, to escape the swirling waters. At last count, on August 28, the death toll had touched 55.


Behli Camp, located northeast of Supaul, is the last outpost of dry land after which the turbulent waters of the raging Kosi river take over. It is from here that the Army and private entrepreneurs are ferrying boats to bring in marooned villagers who have been living on rooftops and dry patches of land for the last three weeks.


With water level of the rampaging Kosi river receding after wreaking havoc in five northeast districts of Bihar, the overall flood situation in the state improved even as rescue and evacuation operations were stopped.

Bihar officials said as the flood waters had started to recede, many people sheltered in government relief centres and adjoining dis tricts started returning to their villages despite persuasion by the local authorities to stay for some more time.

Anubhuti Vishnoi

New Delhi, September 7: Receding floodwaters have prompted the authorities to assess the extent of damage done by the Kosi and the figures trickling in suggests it would be long before Bihar

This is a region where, if you have survived the night, you are not likely to get your morning cup of tea because all milk-producing livestock is dead

New Delhi,Sept. 1: As millions remain marooned, a high-level team headed by Cabinet Secretary K.M. Chandrashekhar will visit Bihar on Tuesday to oversee rescue and relief operations in the flood-affected areas.

Increasing the number of its flood relief columns from 21 to 37 in Madhepura, Araria and Supaul districts, the Army has provided six more helicopters to speed up the relief measures.

While 320 boats are already deployed in the flood-hit areas, 197 more are being organised by the Army, Central paramilitary forces and various state governments.