Assam floods claim five more lives, 25 lakh people still in distress

Flood situation in Assam slightly improved on Sunday even as five more people died, raising the death toll to 102, while 25 lakh people in 2,265 villages under 23 districts remained distressed

IANS
IANS
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IANS

The overall flood situation in Assam slightly improved on Sunday even as five more people died in Barpeta, Morigaon and Kokrajhar districts, raising the death toll to 102, while 25 lakh people in 2,265 villages under 23 districts remained distressed, officials said.

According to the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) officials, six major rivers flowing down from neighbouring Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya, including the Brahmaputra, are in a state of spate in 10 districts.

The forest department officials told the media that at least 129 wild animals have died due to the floods and 157 have been rescued, even as over 85 per cent of the 430 sq km Kaziranga National Park remained flooded.

The animals that have perished in the annual deluge include 14 rhinos, 95 hog deer, eight wild boars, five wild buffaloes, three porcupines and two swamp deer.

The officials said that besides Kaziranga National Park, located on edge of the eastern Himalayan biodiversity hotspots of Golaghat and Nagaon districts, the Manas, R.G. Orang and Tinsukia national parks, and the Pabitora and Tinsukia wildlife sanctuaries were also affected and many wild animals have perished.

Assam has recorded 16 per cent excess rainfall so far since June 1, when the four month-long monsoon season started. Since June 1, Assam recorded 934.8 mm rainfall against the normal 806.5 mm, said the officials of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).

The ASDMA officials said that of the state's 25 lakh people hit by the floods in 23 of the state's 33 districts, around 17.27 lakh are in the state's five western districts -- Goalpara (470,253), Barpeta (395,456), Morigaon (333,367), Dhubri (278,841) and South Salmara (249,423).

At least 102 persons have died so far in the ongoing floods in Kokrajhar, Kamrup (Metro), Baksa, South Salmara, Darrang, Sonitpur, Biswanath, Tinsukia, Lakhimpur, Bongaigaon, Kamrup, Golaghat, Sivasagar, Morigaon, Dhubri, Nagaon, Nalbari, Barpeta, Dhemaji, Udalguri, Goalpara and Dibrugarh districts, while 26 others were killed in landslides since May 22.

The Brahmaputra river has been flowing above the danger mark in a large number of places in four districts, and as many as five other major rivers -- Dhansiri, Jia Bharali, Kopili, Beki and Kushiyara -- are flowing above the danger mark in a large number of places in five districts.

The floods, triggered by heavy rains, have inundated 2,265 villages besides affecting 112,667 hectares of crop area in 27 districts and damaged hundreds of houses.

The district administrations have set up around 457 relief camps and distribution centres in 23 districts, where around 46,000 flood-hit people have taken shelter.

Besides erosion of river banks at a large number of places, roads, embankments, bridges, culverts and other infrastructure were damaged at many locations in 23 districts, the officials said, adding that hundreds of houses were fully or partially damaged due to the floods.

A total of 16 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams and many teams of the State Disaster Response Force, along with the district and local administration, are working to rescue the affected people and render relief services, including distribution of necessary materials to the marooned villagers

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