Guwahati (Assam): The monsoon floods in Assam claimed another life today, taking the number of deaths in the rain-ravaged state to seven. Official sources said that over 15 lakh people have been affected in 25 of Assam’s 33 districts so far, and the situation will only get worse amid predictions of more rainfall in the hours to come. The rescue efforts are being led by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), which is actively evacuating people residing in low-lying areas to relief camps across the state. The centre has assured the state government of all possible help in tackling the floods.
Here are the 10 major developments in this story:
- Over 20,000 people have been shifted to 68 relief camps so far, with floods affecting 15 lakh people across 25 districts in the state. Barpeta is the worst-hit, with over five lakh people displaced.
- However, the situation worsened as the day wore on, with heavy rainfall lashing the state and neighbouring Meghalaya in line with predictions by the India Meteorological Department. Further rainfall is expected in the next 48 hours.
- Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal briefed Union Home Minister Amit Shah on the floods in a phone conversation earlier today. Mr Shah also chaired a high-level meet to review the situation in Assam and other rainfall-hit states across the country.
- According to news agency ANI, residents of at least 52 villages in Moran district had to move to safer areas after flood water entered their houses. Many of them said that the floods surged before they had a chance to react.
- Water levels of 10 rivers in the state, including the stretch of the Brahmaputra flowing through Guwahati, have crossed the danger mark. Round-the-clock control rooms have been set up to respond to calls for help.
- Ferry services across the state have been halted since Friday to prevent accidents due to the strong water currents in rivers flowing across the northeastern state.
- Over 70 per cent of the Kaziranga National Park has been submerged in the floods. The animals have taken shelter on platforms constructed for their safety during the floods, officials said.
- Dhemaji and Lakhimpur in tea-rich Upper Assam and Bongaigaon and Barpeta in Lower Assam were also badly hit. Officials fear that the flow of floodwater from higher areas will further rise, making things worse in the Lower Assam region.
- Agricultural activities in the state also received a massive setback, with over 27,000 hectares of farmland getting inundated until yesterday. Further updates are awaited.
- In the midst of the floods, Assam is grappling with rising cases of encephalitis too. State Health Department employees have been instructed to not go on leave until the end of September.
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