The flood situation remained grim in Bihar while the death toll rose to 253 on Sunday, an official said A Bihar Disaster Management Department official said 126.87 lakh persons in 1,965 panchayats under 171 blocks in 18 districts have been affected by the floods. According to an official release, till date 7,21,704 people have been evacuated to safe places by the rescue teams of the Army, the National Disaster Response Force and the State Disaster Response Force, while the government has set up 1,358 relief camps in which 4,21,824 people are living. "For the flood victims, 2,569 community kitchens have been set up," the official said. "Major rivers in spate have breached banks, inundated new areas and displaced thousands since last week, washing away hundreds of huts and damaging buildings, roads, bridges and standing crops worth crores of rupees," he said. He said thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes after flood waters entered their villages and have taken shelter at high places including school buildings and embankments.