Assam is battling flood of epic proportions which has killed more than 80 people in then state and affected over 70 lakh people. At least 24 of the state’s 33 districts are affected due to floods triggered by heavy monsoon shower.
“Over 70 lakh people have been affected due to Assam floods. People, as well as animals, are being rescued from the affected areas and being shifted to relief camps and safer locations,” chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal told news agency ANI.
“On one hand, people are troubled due to Covid-19 and on the other hand, there are challenges arising out of Assam floods. Still, the people of our state continue to fight the battle. Central and state governments are providing all kinds of assistance to the people,” he added.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Sonowal on Sunday to take stock of the flood, erosion and Covid-19 situation in the state.
“The PM said that the central government was keeping a close watch and standing closely with the people of Assam during these difficult times,” said a statement from the chief minister’s office.
According to a Central Water Commission (CWC) bulletin, most rivers in the state continue to be in spate. The Brahmaputra, Dhansiri, Jia Bharali, Kopili, Beki, Kusiyara and Sankosh flowed above the danger mark at several places.
The latest alert from CWC on Monday said that the Brahmaputra is expected to rise more by Tuesday evening. The river had burst its banks two weeks ago, swamping more than 2,500 villages. Goalpara is the worst-hit district with over 4.53 lakh people affected, followed by 3.44 lakh in Barpeta and 3.41 lakh in Morigaon.
Personnel of the State Disaster Response Force, district administrations and locals have rescued 366 persons during the last 24 hours, the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) said. Over 50,000 people uprooted by floods have taken shelter at 521 relief camps.
The rapidly rising water level has also inundated the Kaziranga National Park, home to the world’s largest concentration of one-horned rhinoceros, with an estimated 2,500 out of a total population of some 3,000 of the animals.
“Nine rhinos have drowned and over 100 other animals have been killed,” said Assam’s agriculture minister Atul Bora. Sixty other animals (36 hog deer, eight rhinos, three wild buffalo, one python, seven wild boar, two swamp deer, one Sambar and two porcupines) have so far died due to drowning, according to state government.
Assam, famous for its tea plantations, is hit by flooding every rainy season despite flood-control efforts.