The flood situation in Assam turned from bad to worse on Monday with the water level of the Brahmaputra, Barak and their tributaries rising and inundating more villages across 20 districts. With seven more deaths reported on Monday, the death toll in the current floods has risen to 32. The Brahmaputra continued to flow above the red mark throughout the state for the fourth consecutive day on Monday.
Officials sources in Guwahati said the total number of people affected rose to 12.55 lakh on Monday. The floods have caused damage to roads, bridges and other infrastructure in several districts, while over one lakh hectare crop area has been affected till date. While over 20,000 people have been shifted to 71 relief camps in ten of the worst-affected districts, unavailibity of drinking water, sanitation and shelter from rains have become major problems as several thousand people have also taken shelter on highlands and roads.
The situation has been worse in Lakhimpur district in eastern Assam, with floods late Sunday evening breaching a portion of National Highway 15 about eight km east of North Lakhimpur town. This cut off road communication to Lakhimpur and Dhemaji districts as well as to six Arunachal Pradesh districts for which NH 15 is the most important lifeline. Communication however was restored on Monday afternoon, with the authorities regulating vehicular traffic.
With North-East Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO) releasing huge quantities of water from its Ranganadi hydro-electric project in Lower Subansiri district in Arunachal Pradesh since Saturday, floods have affected nearly three lakh people in Lakhimpur. While NDRF and SDRF personnel since Sunday night rescued about 1100 persons caught in the flash floods caused due to water release by NEEPCO, three persons including a woman lost their lives on Monday. One person also remained missing.
Altogether seven persons lost their lives due to the floods on Monday in Assam, of which two deaths were reported from Jorhat district and one each from Goalpara and Golaghat, apart from the three in Lakhimpur, official sources said. The total death toll in this year’s floods in Assam has risen to 32.
“Floods have caused havoc in the western part of Lakhimpur district especially after NEEPCO released huge quantities of water from its Ranganadi hydro-electric project in Lower Subansiri district in Arunachal Pradesh since Saturday because of incessant rain in its catchment areas. The eastern embankment of Ranganadi river is in a very precarious condition, and if rains continue for two more days, it will give away, causing havoc in Lakhimpur town,” Barun Bhuyan, deputy commissioner of Lakhimpur district told The Indian Express.
In Itanagar, the Arunachal Pradesh government issued alert to authorities in all the districts to closely monitor the flood situation in view of incessant rains. The government also asked the district officials to ensure adequate stock of foodgrains, petroleum products and other essential items in view of floods and landslides threatening to cut off road communication in the state as well as in adjoining districts of Assam.