Assam flood situation turns worse



Guwahati: Incessant rainfall in Assam has led to worsening of the flood situation in the state on Wednesday triggering fresh inundation and landslides in 23 districts that left 10 more dead, taking the toll in this wave of floods to 20.

While a woman and her two children were buried in a landslide at Dhirenpara area of the city, two others met a similar fate in Dima Hasao district and one each in Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Nagaon, Kamrup(Rural) and Cachar districts, official sources said.

The 23 affected districts are Tinsukia, Darrang, Bongaigaon, Jorhat, Kamrup (Metro), Golaghat, Cachar, Kokrajhar, Nalbari, Sonitpur, Karbi Anglong, Dima Hasao, Nagaon, Dibrugarh, Sivasagar, Dhubri, Kamrup(Rural), Karimganj, Hailakandi, Morigaon, Lakhimpur, Dhemaji and Goalpara, the sources said.

Heavy rainfall has caused Brahmaputra to swell and is threatening to submerge Majuli, Asia's largest river island in Jorhat district, where a red alert has been sounded after the river breached its embankments at Sonowal Kachari.

The island's famous Vaishnavite monasteries are now under threat of total submergence, the sources said.

Water levels of various rivers are rising in both Brahmaputra and Barak valleys, while landslides have disrupted road and rail networks at the Dima Hasao hill district.

Jorhat district officials said a National Disaster Response Force team will soon arrive from Kolkata for relief and rescue operations in Majuli where over 50,000 families have been affected by the flood in the island.

Road service in the island has been disrupted due to submergence of many roads. State Minister for Water Resources and local MLA Rajib Lochan Pegu visited the island, where six camps were set up for rehabilitation.

In Lakhimpur district over two lakh people have been affected by flood in Brahmaputra and Subansiri rivers, among others. A 70-year-old man was washed away by waters in the district.

The NDRF has started operations in the district, as well as in neighbouring Dhemaji, where over 2.5 lakh people have been affected.

Over 50,000 people have been marooned in Machkhowa of Dhemaji and a five-year-old child was drowned in the area, official sources said, adding 17 rescue camps have been set up in the district.

The sources said Brahmaputra flood waters have engulfed the entire Kaziranga National Park and animals are crossing NH 37, which passes through the park, to higher grounds in Karbi Anglong hills.

Golaghat district administration said three animals -- two deer and a wild boar were knocked down on the highway by vehicles and killed this morning.

The district administration has imposed Section 144 Cr PC on the highway near the park and also issued time tags to all vehicles passing it to prevent poaching.

In the central Assam district of Morigaon flood waters of Brahmaputra have submerged almost half of Pobitora National Park after the river breached an embankment at Bhuragaon.

Bhuragaon area has been inundated and the state highway from Guwahati to Nagaon via Morigaon has been submerged at Buraburi point in Mayong by the flood waters.

Official sources said a baby girl died after falling into the flood waters of Kolgosiya river at Nagaon district.

Lower Assam's Dhubri and Bongaigaon districts are facing the threat of flood as waters of Brahmaputra and its tributaries like Gauranga, Sankosh, Tiptai and Champawati rose above their danger levels.

In Dhubri district, a number of villages in Bilasipara, South Salmara and Hatisingmari blocks have been inundated and vast crop fields destroyed.

In Nalbari district over one lakh people have been affected at Tihu, Borbhug, Borkhetri, Ghograpar and Dhamdhama.

The Pagladia river breached embankment at Dolkania and Akhra, inundating around 40 villages late last night, the sources said adding Nuna river breached dykes at Alliya-Milanbazaar.

Both the river have caused large scale erosion and hundreds of families have been evacuated at Kalachor in Nalbari district.

The sources said one person was washed away at Moirabari in Rangiya sub-division of Kamrup Rural district, while two persons were killed and four injured in a landslide at Haflong in Dima Hasao hill district yesterday.

Official sources said rail services to south Assam's Barak Valley and Tripura have been disrupted due to 51 landslips in the 130 km stretch between Harengajao and Mailongdisia in Dima Hasao district, which lies in between.

Road service to Barak valley, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura have been cut-off due to landslide on NH 44 at Sonapur in Meghalaya. The sources said water levels in Barak river is rising by eight cm per hour. A 38-year-old man died after being washed away by flood water near the national highway in Cachar district.

A large number of villages in Katigorah, Borkhula, Udarband and Lakhipur have been inundated by water from the Barak river.

Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, currently on a trip to the USA, has directed ministers from the flood affected districts to closely monitor the flood situation and to take prompt steps to tackle the situation, the sources added.

PTI