Heavy rainfall and flooding across eastern and central Indian states have displaced ten of thousands. The worst hit states are Bihar, in east India, Uttar Pradesh in the north, and Madhya Pradesh, with at least 53 dead in these states, officials said. More than 2 million people have been affected by the flooding.

Malini Manjoly, SCN, shares the following

“In Bihar and elsewhere in the country, flood affected people continue to live in constant fear. The headlines such as “Ganga down but Bihar’s worry ‘not over’ yet. Next 48 hours crucial for Patna. Flood kills 19 in 3 days, situation grim in 12 districts” in the English national dailies add to their anxieties.

“The National Disaster Response Force has so far evacuated nearly 1.40 hundred thousand people and around 1.05 hundred thousand take shelter in relief camps. In Bihar, twelve districts are badly affected.

“From August 22, Leena Padam, SCN, started visiting the most affected areas. On Tuesday, she and one of her staff went with Malini Manjoly, SCN, and two staff from Catholic Relief Services, Patna, to see the condition of the people who dispose the dead bodies. They live along the brick kiln on the periphery of Mallik Tola. We used a country-made boat to reach this inundated village. All their huts are washed away. The mud houses and many of the poorly built houses are collapsed. Many of the houses are almost under water. People are stranded on the roof tops, some of them guarding their belongings. Carcasses of animals are stuck along the walls of the houses.

“People not only have to worry about food, shelter, livestock and their belongings but also have to ward off snakes, rats and other poisonous creatures. There are reports about at least three people bitten by snakes.

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“We also visited a flood relief camp at Ganesh high school, Raghavpur. We saw a young woman being treated for snake bite at the camp. The woman had ventured out to relieve herself early this morning. There is no sanitation facilities for women at the camp. The Circle officer and the staff responsible for the relief work told us around 400 people are registered and new people keep coming. The relief camp is ill equipped to handle the rush of people. They are provided two meals a day. Many of the children were crying for food. Some of the women were busy preparing the first meal of the day. Government public health department is present at the camp for any medical emergencies. Schools are closed for a week.

“SCNs and other staff are busy washing out the silt from their house as the water has receded today. The compound is still under two feet water. Doctor Vinita Kumplankel, SCN, met all the patients who came wading through the water on Monday. She attended to them in the second floor. Water entered the SCN residence in Bakhtiarpur on the night of Aug. 20.

“This morning, Sisters Mercy Thundathil, Manisha Bara and Malini Manjoly from Provincial House, Patna, visited the Sisters there. They helped them with cleaning.

“Most of the standing are crops are destroyed including the saved fodder for the animals. Vegetable prices have gone up. Floods have blocked the flow of supply. Trucks ferrying food supplies are stranded on the highways.”