Women using banana rafts to move across in the flood-affected Morigaon district of Assam.
Women using banana rafts to move across in the flood-affected Morigaon district of Assam. |IANS
National

Assam flood situation improves but over 22 lakh still in distress

IANS

Guwahati, July 27, 2020

One more person died in Assam's Golaghat district, taking the death toll to 103, even as the overall flood situation in the state further improved on Monday, officials said.

While 22.34 lakh people in 2,026 villages across 22 of the state's 33 districts still remained affected by the floods, triggered by heavy rains, the number has come down since Friday when over 28 lakh people in 2,543 villages in 26 of the 33 districts were hit, officials said.

A total of 109,236 hectares of crop area is still inundated, but the area has come down from 122,573 hectares as on July 24.

However, officials said that five major rivers flowing down from neighbouring Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya, including the Brahmaputra, are in a state of spate in seven districts.

Forest and Disaster Department officials also said that at least 132 wild animals have died due to the floods and 162 have been rescued, even as over 80 per cent of the 884 sq km Kaziranga National Park remained inundated. The animals that have died in the annual monsoon flood include 14 rhinos, 98 hog deer, eight wild boars, five wild buffaloes, three porcupines and two swamp deer.

The officials said that not only the Kaziranga National Park, located on edge of the eastern Himalayan biodiversity hotspots of Golaghat and Nagaon districts, but 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.

According to the officials of the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Assam has recorded 15 per cent excess rainfall so far since June 1, when the four month-long monsoon season started. Since June 1, Assam recorded 944.7 mm rainfall against the normal 819.2 mm.

According to the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) officials said that of the affected people, a major section, at 16.48 lakh, are in the state's five western districts -- Goalpara (462,084), Barpeta (381,008), Morigaon (300,730), Dhubri (254,929) and South Salmara (249,423).

At least 103 persons have died so far in the ongoing floods in 22 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 four other major rivers -- Dhansiri, Jia Bharali, Kopili and Beki -- are flowing above the danger mark in many places in four districts.

The district administrations have set up around 432 relief camps and distribution centres in 22 districts, where around 46,000 flood-hit people have sheltered.

Besides erosion of river banks at a large number of places, roads, embankments, bridges, culverts and other infrastructure were damaged at many locations in 22 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.

IANS

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