Assam flood situation worsens; 8 more die, Modi dials CM
Guwahati/Agartala: Assam reeled under devastating floods caused by incessant rain affecting nearly 31 lakh people in 32 districts, while eight more people lost their lives on Saturday taking the toll to 63, officials said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi called up Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma to take stock of the situation. The CM also visited a few relief camps sheltering affected people in Kamrup and Darrang districts.
A total of 18.94 lakh people were affected in 28 districts of the state on Friday.
The toll in the current second wave of floods and landslides in the state has increased to 63 as two deaths each were reported from Barpeta and Karimganj while one each died in Darrang, Hailakandi, Nalbari and Sonitpur districts.
Eight people, including three children, were reported missing after a boat capsized in Hojai district on Friday night. They are from the districts of Hojai, Bajali, West Karbi Anglong, Kokrajhar and Tamulpur. Altogether 21 people were rescued there.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi rang up the chief minister to enquire about the current flood situation in the state and assured him of all help from the Centre.
"Earlier today, spoke to Assam CM and took stock of the situation due to floods in the state. Assured all possible support from the Centre. I pray for the safety and well-being of the people of Assam affected by flooding," Modi tweeted.
Sarma visited the inundated Rangia town in Kamrup district, with state BJP president and local MLA Bhabesh Kalita. He also visited relief camps at Fatima Convent School and Kolajal where affected people have taken shelter.
Speaking to media persons, Sarma said that the district administration is ready to face any exigency and to help the flood-affected people.
''The administration has been directed to ensure relief supplies and evacuate people from vulnerable areas to relief camps. The Army is ready to provide assistance and the deputy commissioners have been asked to take their help when required. NDRF and SDRF personnel are evacuating affected people to safer places,'' he said.
The CM assured the inmates of the relief camps that all steps are being taken to help them.
In Darrang district, Sarma waded through flood waters and examined the breached embankments at Patharughat and Bor Athiabari. He directed the officials concerned to repair it after the water recedes.
The Army has deployed 11 columns to assist in rescue and relief operations in Hojai, Baksa, Nalbari, Barpeta, Darrang, Tamulpur and Kamrup districts and has so far evacuated 3000 people to safety.
The Central Water Commission (CWC) bulletin on Saturday stated that the river Kopili is flowing above 'High Flood Level' in Nagaon district, while other rivers such as the Brahmaputra, Jia-Bharali, Puthimari, Pagladia, Manas, Beki, Barak and Kushiara are flowing above the danger level at different places. A population of 30.99 lakh has been affected in 32 districts, according to a report by the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) on Saturday. Altogether 118 revenue circles and 4,291 villages have been impacted by the calamity.
Barpeta, Darrang, Goalpara, Hailakandi, Kamrup (M), Nalbari, and Udalguri districts have also been affected severely by urban flooding, according to the bulletin.
A total crop area of 66455.12 hectares has been inundated while 441 animals have been washed away in the current wave of floods, according to the ASDMA.
Landslides were reported from Cachar, Dima-Hasao, Goalpara, Hailakandi, South Salmara and Kamrup (Metro) districts during the day.
More than 1.56 lakh people have taken shelter in 514 relief camps. Relief materials were also distributed to other affected populations that are not in such camps.
Infrastructure damage was also reported from various parts of the state as 216 roads, five bridges and four embankments were damaged during the day.
Meanwhile, more than 2,000 people have been displaced due to flooding in Sadar subdivision of West Tripura district triggered by torrential rain, officials said on Saturday.
They have taken shelter in 20 relief camps. However, no fatality has been reported so far, they said.
West Tripura district has received 155 mm of rainfall in the last 24
hours, causing inundation of several low-lying areas on the banks of Howrah River.
"Water level in Howrah River is flowing slightly above the danger level, posing threat to several low-lying areas in southern parts of Agartala. The situation may worsen if it rains more," Sadar Sub-Divisional Magistrate Ashim Saha said. Police, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and administration are jointly conducting relief and rescue operations in the affected areas.
Chief Minister Manik Saha visited the Integrated Command and Control Centre on Friday night and took stock of the situation. He asked officials to take all possible steps to handle the situation and assess the damage caused by the floods.