Over 17 lakh marooned in flood-ravaged Assam
The flood situation in Assam worsened on Wednesday as five more deaths were reported in the deluge which has affected 17.2 lakh people in 24 districts.
The mighty Brahmaputra river and its tributaries have submerged 2,500 villages, destroyed 1.06 lakh hectares of crop-land, damaged infrastructure by breaching the embankments and overrunning roads and bridges, thereby disrupting surface communication, said the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA).
Five more deaths were reported, taking the toll to 44.
One death each was reported from Majuli, Sivasagar, Dhemaji, Golaghat and Nagaon districts, the ASDMA said.
The flood-hit districts are Lakhimpur, Bongaigaon, Darrang, Jorhat, Golaghat, Cachar, Dhemaji, Biswanath, Karimganj, Sonitpur, Majuli, Barpeta, Nagaon, Nalbari, Sivasagar, Morigaon, Chirang, Dibrugarh, Dhubri, Kokrajhar, South Salmara, Charaideo, Goalpara and Karbi Anglong.
Nearly 75 per cent of the Kaziranga National Park (KNP), a World Heritage Site, was inundated, leading to the drowning of two female hog deer and one male swamp deer in the northern range of the park today.
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), along with the authorities and police, have so far rescued 7,814 people, who were marooned in 16 districts, the ASDMA bulletin said.
The Brahmaputra is flowing above the danger mark in Guwahati, at Nematighat in Jorhat, at Tezpur in Sonitpur and in Goalpara and Dhubri districts.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Wednesday ordered an inquiry into the circumstances leading to the alleged spurt of deaths due to electrocution during the seasonal floods in Assam. At least nine persons, including three in state capital Guwahati, were killed in flash flood-induced electrocution in the last one month.
Union minister Kiren Rijiju will lead a high-level central team to assess rescue and relief operations in flood-affected areas in the North East.
During the three-day tour, beginning on Thursday the central delegation will visit Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur, where lakhs were marooned by flood water.
Five persons were killed and nine went missing as a massive landslide triggered by incessant rains hit eight dwellings in Arunachal Pradesh's Papum Pare district on Tuesday.
In Manipur, more than 20 per cent of the total paddy fields in all five districts of Imphal valley were hit by the floods.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday expressed anguish over the flood situation in various parts of the Northeast and promised all possible help from the Centre.
"I am anguished by the situation arising due to floods in various parts of the Northeast. I share the pain of all those affected by floods," Modi tweeted.