India

India: Bihar cold wave Situation Report No. 1

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Current Status:
The temperature has shrunk to the lowest from its record. It is reported to be at 2.4 degrees Celsius today. Thursday night was the coldest one in Patna as the mercury came down to 2.4 degrees C.

Government Initiatives:

The Relief Department has already released a sum of INR 1.1 million to the District Collectors and INR 100,000 is yet to be released depending upon the situation for the very purpose of making campfires at various locations and depending upon the need of the affected lot. The relief and rehabilitation department has already issued orders to District Magistrates to use public buildings like schools and community halls for providing shelter to the poor and homeless. The State Relief Commissioner has issued a letter to the District Collectors to use the Flood Tarpaulins for the homeless only and in case of extreme need have to be shifted immediately to the nearby schools for shelter. Community campfires to be set up for the affected lot. The Relief Commissioner has also asked the DM's depending upon the immediate need to issue/procure the community tents from the Relief Department but till now no such request has come from any of the districts.

Death & Damages:

One official death case have been reported so far from Motihari i.e East Champaran though the unofficial numbers have reached up to more than 155. { Normal life remains affected due to the biting cold and icy winds even as weather department predicts these conditions would prevail for another three days. Some officials say nearly 200 people have died due to the freezing conditions in the last six days. However, the state government claims the number of deaths was below 100}

Areas Affected:

Mostly northern districts are experiencing the strong cold wave winds. The deaths as reported from media sources were mainly form Gaya and the other districts included are Aurangabad, Katihar, Nalanda, Saran, Vaishali, Purnia, Rohtas, Bhagalpur, Muzaffarpur, east and west Champaran, Samastipur, Buxar, Sheikhpura and Patna districts.

Community Needs:

The immediate need of the people are Blankets and shelter as most of the populace are rickshaw pullers, labourers. Homeless people along with elderly and children have been the victims in most cases.