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Assam flood situation critical; 76 dead, 36 lakh in distress
Guwahati, July 18, 2020
The flood situation in Assam continued to remain grim on Friday, as five more deaths were reported, taking the death toll due to the monsoon deluge to 76, while around 36 lakh people in 28 of the state's 33 districts have been affected.
According to the officials of Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), of the 36 lakh flood-affected people, around 22 lakh are in four districts - Dhubri (892,109), Goalpara (443,768), Barpeta (429,708) and Morigaon (424,541).
Forest Department and ASDMA officials also said that at least 86 animals were killed, while 125 animals were rescued as 95 per cent of the world-famous Kaziranga national park, home to more than 2,200 one-horned Indian rhinoceros, was inundated.
An ASDMA official said that over the past more than a month, 76 deaths due to the floods were reported from Darrang, Sonitpur, Biswanath, Tinsukia, Lakhimpur, Bongaigaon, Kamrup, Golaghat, Sivasagar, Morigaon, Tinsukia, Dhubri, Nagaon, Nalbari, Barpeta, Dhemaji, Udalguri, Goalpara and Dibrugarh districts, while 26 others have been killed in separate landslides since May 22.
The officials said that six rivers - Dhansiri, Jia Bharali, Kopili, Beki, Barak, Kushiyara and the Brahmaputra, are flowing above the danger mark in many places in more than 12 districts.
The floodwater has submerged 3,014 villages, and 127,955 hectares of crop area in 28 districts.
The district administrations have set up 711 relief camps and distribution centres in 28 districts, where around 51,500 men, women and children have taken shelter.
Though the flood affected 28 districts, 23 - Dhemaji, Udalguri, Darrang, Biswanath, Sonitpur, Baksa, Lakhimpur, Chirang, Barpeta, Bongaigaon, Kokrajhar, Dhubri, South Salmara, Goalpara, Kamrup, Golaghat, Jorhat, Sivasagar, Majuli, Dibrugarh, West Karbi Anglong, Karbi Anglong and Tinsukia - are the worst-hit.
Besides erosion of river banks at a large number of places, roads, embankments, bridges, culverts and other infrastructure have been damaged at many locations in 28 districts, the ASDMA officials said, adding that several hundred houses were fully or partially damaged due to the flood.
Around 19.8 lakh domesticated animals and over 13 lakh poultry birds were affected due to floodwater.
Besides Kaziranga national park, located on the edge of the Eastern Himalayan biodiversity hotspots of Golaghat and Nagaon districts, the Manas and R.G. Orang national parks, the Pabitora wildlife and the Tinsukia wildlife sanctuaries were also affected.
The National Disaster Response Force, and State Disaster Response Force personnel, along with the local administration, are continuously working to rescue affected people and render relief services, including distribution of necessary material to the marooned villagers.