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Three more die in Assam floods; president takes stock of situation

Guwahati: The flood situation in Assam remained critical on Friday with three more persons losing their lives in the deluge and nearly 28 lakh people in 26 of the state's 33 districts affected by the floods, a bulletin said.

President Ram Nath Kovind spoke to Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal over the flood situation and expressed solidarity with the affected people of the state.

Assam Governor Jagdish Mukhi visited Chirang district to oversee the relief and rehabilitation measures, and also spent some time with the affected people in two relief camps.

According to the daily flood report of the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), one death each was reported from Kalgachia, Kokrajhar and Mayong.

With this, the total number of people losing their lives in this year's flood and landslide has gone up to 122, of whom 96 persons died in flood-related incidents and 26 died due to landslides.

ASDMA said around 27.8 lakh people are hit due to floods in Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Sonitpur, Biswanath, Darrang, Baksa, Nalbari, Barpeta, Chirang, Bongaigaon, Kokrajhar, Dhubri, South Salmara, Goalpara, Kamrup, Kamrup Metropolitan, Morigaon, Nagaon, Golaghat, Jorhat, Majuli, Sivasagar, Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, West Karbi Anglong and Cachar districts.

Goalpara is the worst-hit district with over 4.7 lakh people suffering, followed by Barpeta with more than 4.6 lakh people and Morigaon with around 3.8 lakh people affected.

The SDRF, district administrations and local people have rescued 1,350 people during the last 24 hours by deploying 99 boats across the state.

During his phone call with Sonowal, Kovind said the entire nation is standing with the people of Assam and this difficult phase will pass soon.

"Hon'ble President Shri Ram Nath Kovind ji took stock of the flood & overall situation of the state over phone. I am humbled by his statement that the entire nation is with the people of Assam & thank him for his deep concern, constant support and guidance," Sonowal tweeted.

Earlier in the day, the president flagged off nine trucks carrying Red Cross relief supplies for the flood- and coronavirus-affected people of Assam, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh from the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi, according to an official statement.

"Expressing solidarity with the affected people, the President said that the nation today stands with the people of Assam who are going through a very difficult time. He also hoped that the challenging times would soon be over and normalcy would return to the State," a statement issued by the Chief Minister's Office said.

In Chirang district, the Assam governor spoke to inmates of a relief camp and asked the administration to leave no stone unturned to assuage the sufferings of the babies, elderly people, pregnant women and lactating mothers.

He also visited erosion-affected areas near Hagrama bridge and said that once flood water recedes, the areas with severe damage will be restored and reconstructed using the flood management fund.

Mukhi asked Principal Secretary Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) Siddharth Singh to earmark all vulnerable areas, including endangered embankments, in the Bodoland Territorial Area District (BTAD) areas once the flood water recedes, a Raj Bhawan release said.

At present, 2,543 villages are under water and 1,22,573.16 hectares of crop areas have been damaged across Assam, ASDMA said.

It further said authorities are running 496 relief camps and distribution centres across 22 districts, where 50,136 people are taking shelter currently.

The authorities have distributed a total of 6,933.99 quintals of rice, dal and salt, and 10,360.7 litres of mustard oil along with other relief materials such as tarpaulin, baby food, candle, match box, mosquito net, biscuit, soap, drinking water, cattle feed, mask and wheat bran.

The Brahmaputra is flowing above the danger mark at Guwahati, Dhubri and Goalpara cities, besides at Nimatighat in Jorhat and Tezpur in Sonitpur districts.

Its tributaries Dhansiri at Numaligarh in Golaghat, Jia Bharali at NT Road Crossing in Sonitpur, Kopili at Kampur and Dharamtul in Nagaon, Beki at Road Bridge in Barpeta, Kushiyara at Karimganj town and Sankosh at Golokoganj in Dhubri are also flowing above the danger level.

Roads, bridges, culverts and many other infrastructure have been damaged at various places in Nagaon, Jorhat, Barpeta, Morigaon, Golaghat, Sivasagar, Baksa and Lakhimpur districts.

The ASDMA bulletin said a total of 141 camps out of 223 at Kaziranga National Park, 18 out of 40 camps at Rajiv Gandhi Orang National Park, 16 out of 25 camps at Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary and three out of 10 camps at Tinsukia Wildlife Division have been affected by the deluge.

The deluge has caused death of 125 different animals, while 153 others were rescued in Kaziranga National Park, the bulletin said, quoting DFO of the Eastern Assam Wildlife Division.

The flood has also affected 33,16,866 domestic animals and poultry across the state during the last 24 hours, it added.

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