Brahmaputra above danger mark, alert in Assam

The flood situation in Assam turned critical Tuesday with the main river Brahmaputra crossing the danger level at several places, taking the total number of displaced people to 500,000 in 10 districts, officials said.

Last Updated: Sep 14, 2010, 12:06 PM IST

Guwahati: The flood situation in Assam turned critical Tuesday with the main river Brahmaputra crossing the danger level at several places, taking the total number of displaced people to 500,000 in 10 districts, officials said.

A government spokesperson said floods have spread to 10 districts with the worst hit being Lakhimpur, Dhemaji, Morigaon, Golaghat and Barpeta. Two people drowned earlier this week in separate incidents while trying to escape the fury of floods in eastern Assam.

"More than 500 villages have been badly affected by the floods so far in 10 districts," the official said. An estimated 100,000 people are now displaced in Lakhimpur district alone, about 400 km east of Assam`s main city Guwahati.

"Most of the flood-hit people are now taking shelter in raised platforms, on railway tracks, and also in government schools and offices so far untouched by the floods," a district official said.

A Central Water Commission bulletin said the Brahmaputra and its tributaries were flowing above the danger mark in at least eight places.

Gushing floodwaters had breached at least four vital mud embankments in the state.

South Asia`s largest river island of Majuli in Jorhat district has also been hit by the floods with a breach in a mud embankment reported Monday night, leaving thousands of people stranded on raised platforms.

Over 50 villages in Dhemaji district have also come under water.

Measures are being taken to plug the breaches in the mud embankments.

"We have sounded maximum alert and have already kept disaster management teams on standby. We are also taking stock of essentials and other commodities in the district," Assam relief and rehabilitation minister Bhumidhar Barman said.

The 2,906-km-long Brahmaputra is one of Asia`s largest rivers and traverses its first stretch of 1,625 km in China`s Tibet region, the next 918 km in India and the remaining 363 km through neighbouring Bangladesh before flowing into the Bay of Bengal.

IANS