Guwahati/Morigaon: The first wave of floods in Assam has claimed one life, affected nearly 68,000 people, submerged rhino habitats at Kaziranga and Pobitora and overrun vast tracks of human habitation and farm land.
A 12-year old boy was dragged away by the high current of the Brahmaputra at Jengpuri village in Morigaon district yesterday and his body was recovered today, official sources said.
The surging waters of the Brahmaputra on its northern side and the Kopili and Kolong rivers on the southern part have overrun 60 per cent of the 38.80-sq km Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary in the district.
Rhinos, deer, pygmy hog, wild buffaloes and other animals from the Sanctuary, which has the highest density of one-horn Great Indian Rhinoceros population, were taking shelter on the high platforms built for their succour, the sources said.
The elite Assam Forest Protection Force commandos have been put on 24-hour vigil duty to curb poaching there.
In Kaziranga National Park the flood waters have also forced the animals to take shelter on highlands and in the Karbi Anglong hills outside the 430-sq km Park by crossing National Highway 37, they said.
The Park authorities are on alert to protect the wildlife from deluge and poachers by undertaking day-night vigil and patrolling on boats through the flooded park.
Meanwhile, the flood situation in the state has turned critical with more districts, including Morigaon and Sibsagar, coming under water besides Dhemaji, Golaghat, Jorhat, Kamrup, Karimganj, Lakhimpur and Tinsukia already affected.
Floods and erosion have devastated human habitation and crop fields in Morigaon`s Bhuragaon and Mayong revenue circles affecting about 2000 people, the sources said.
Severe erosion by the rising Brahmaputra has rendered 100 families homeless at Jengpuri, Nathgaon and Boralimari under Bhuragaon revenue circle, the sources said.
Nearly 5,000 hectare agricultural land with standing crops including rice have been damaged, while over 30,000 big/small animals and poultry are affected by the devastating floods.
Three relief camps were set up in Dhemaji district where nearly 1,000 people have taken shelter, the sources said.
According to the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), six roads, one bridge and three culverts were damaged in Golaghat district, and embankments breached at Madanpur and Chandpur in Karimganj district.
In Dhemaji district, erosion has started on the approaches from Dhemaji side to RCC bridge No.7/1 on Khalihamari Butikur Road at Laumuri with the road surface overtopped by flood water near the bridge approach.
Temporary restoration is being done with bamboo and cement bags, they added. Due to severe flood, most of the roads have been damaged or affected with many either partially or fully submerged, ASDMA said.
Several road embankments have been eroded and approaches of bridge and culverts washed away by the flood water, they added.