Environment

Assam Flood Claims Five More Lives, Death Toll Rises to 44

Assam flood

A man sails his boat in the flood-affected Kuthori village near Kaziranga National Park in Nagaon district of Assam on Monday. Credit: PTI

Guwahati: The flood situation in Assam worsened today as five more deaths were reported in the deluge which has so far affected 17.2 lakh people in 24 districts.

The Brahmaputra river and its tributaries have submerged 2,500 villages, destroyed 1.06 lakh hectares of crop-land, damaged infrastructure by breaching the embankments and overrunning roads and bridges, thereby disrupting surface communication, said the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA).

Five more deaths were reported, taking the toll to 44.

One death each was reported from Majuli, Sivasagar, Dhemaji, Golaghat and Nagaon districts, the ASDMA said.

The flood-hit districts are Lakhimpur, Bongaigaon, Darrang, Jorhat, Golaghat, Cachar, Dhemaji, Biswanath, Karimganj, Sonitpur, Majuli, Barpeta, Nagaon, Nalbari, Sivasagar, Morigaon, Chirang, Dibrugarh, Dhubri, Kokrajhar, South Salmara, Charaideo, Goalpara and Karbi Anglong.

Nearly 75% of the Kaziranga National Park, a World Heritage Site, was inundated, leading to the drowning of two female hog deer and one male swamp deer in the northern range of the park today.

According to the Eastern Assam Wildlife Division, the animals, including rhinos, have been forced to take shelter at the highlands and at the Karbi Anglong hills across National Highway 37, which passes through the park.

The National Disaster Response Force and State Disaster Response Force, along with the authorities and police, have so far rescued 7,814 people who were marooned in 16 districts, the ASDMA bulletin said.

Nearly one lakh people have taken shelter at 231 relief camps. Food, water, medicines and other essential commodities are being supplied to these camps by the respective district authorities.

The Brahmaputra is flowing above the danger mark in Guwahati, at Nematighat in Jorhat, at Tezpur in Sonitpur and in Goalpara and Dhubri districts.

Other rivers flowing above the ‘red’ mark were the Burhidehing at Khowang in Dibrugarh, Subansiri at Badatighat in Lakhimpur, Dikhow in Sivasagar town, Dhansiri at Numaligarh in Golaghat, Jia Bharali at NT Road Crossing in Sonitpur, Puthimari at NH Road Crossing in Kamrup, Beki at Road Bridge in Barpeta, Sankosh at Golokganj in Dhubri and Kushiyara in Karimganj town, said the ASDMA.

Meanwhile, chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal today ordered an inquiry into the circumstances leading to the alleged spurt of deaths due to electrocution during the seasonal floods in Assam.

He ordered the additional chief secretary of agriculture, K. K. Mittal, to look into the incidents, said a release.

Sonowal asked Mittal to fix responsibility, so that the causes for the deaths could be plugged once and for all, it added.

At least nine persons, including three in state capital Guwahati, were killed in flash flood-induced electrocution in the last one month.