Flood waters have begun to recede in the city of Patna, capital of Bihar State of India.
Flood waters have begun to recede in the city of Patna, capital of Bihar State of India. But still half of its one million residents are homeless and major communication links have not been re-established.
The military is continuing a major effort to provide food, not only for the people, but for the livestock in the vicinity. Much of the city remains under water or mud.
Health officials are deeply concerned with preventing the possible spread of disease that may come in the wake of floods.
No deaths have been reported in the city so far, although at least 43 people died in the floods which swept through the northern half of Orissa State, just to the south of Bihar State.
Although Patna has faced floods before, these floods have been described as unprecedented in their scope. Monsoon rains were responsible for filling the Ganges River until it spilled over its banks.
SYNOPSIS: The swollen Ganges River in India ... gorged with monsoon rainfall and spilling from its banks in Patna, the capital of Bihar State.
Since Monday the one-million city residents have been toiling with mud and swirling waters. Half of them have been driven from their homes.
On Friday there were the first signs that the water was beginning to recede... but slowly. More than half the city still remained under mud or water... and many were still stranded on their roof-tops.
The help took many forms.. anything that could navigate through the sludge and muck.
The flooding also aggravates India's massive problem for feeding its population... because it threatens livestock and farm animals...as well as crops. The Army and Air Force have flown in cattle fodder to share among the farmers who have brought their cattle from their flooded homes.
The grounds of the Science College have been converted into an emergency helicopter pad where the helicopters are loaded with vital relief supplies.. tons of food and drinking water... to be flown to distribution centres.
For the pilots, the view below is a grim one.. but it could be much worse. So far there have been no deaths reported in Patna.. although there is fear of disease as the water recedes. Yet in neighbouring Orissa State, at least forty-three have died in flooding...and throughout India the toll during this year's monsoon season is four-hundred-and fifty deaths.