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Guwahati, June 26, 2020
With the incessant monsoon rains during the past few days, the flood situation in Assam is worsening each passing day with 704 villages in 16 districts being inundated, affecting 2.53 lakh people while the Brahmaputra is flowing above the danger level at many places in nine districts, officials said on Friday.
Meanwhile, state-owned Oil India Ltd (OIL) officials said that due to the heavy rainfall during the past few days, Baghjan -- where its leaking oil well has caught fire -- and adjoining areas in Tinsukia district have been badly hit by flood water and the accident site has been inundated, affecting the efforts to douse the blaze.
A massive fire broke out on June 9 at OIL's Baghjan oil well near the Dibru-Saikhowa National Park that had been spewing natural gas and oil condensates uncontrollably since May 27 after a blowout.
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has directed the Deputy Commissioners of all the affected districts to address the needs of the flood-hit people urgently while also adhering to COVID-19 safety protocols.
A bridge en route to Baghjan, around 550 km east of Guwahati, was damaged due to the floods and the Chief Minister has asked to build a bailey bridge for unimpeded movement of emergency services.
Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) officials said that the flood-hit districts are Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Biswanath, Udalguri, Darrang, Baksa, Nalbari, Barpeta, Kokrajhar, Nagaon, Golaghat, Jorhat, Majuli, Sivasagar, Dibrugarh, and Tinsukia.
"Over 2.53 lakh people affected by the floods and over 11,765 hectares of crop were badly affected due to the floods. Around 19,000 people took shelter in 142 relief camps," an ASDMA official said.
The official said that in the current wave of floods, one person died in Dibrugarh district while in the first wave of floods from May 22 claimed 15 lives in different districts of Assam.
The National Disaster Response Force, Assam State Disaster Response Force personnel, along with local administrations, are continuously working to rescue the affected people and rendering the relief services to the marooned villagers.