Floods and landslides claimed two lives in Assam on Monday – both victims being minor girls – while the overall flood situation in the state continued to remain grim with officials putting the total number of people affected at around 3.55 lakh.
While Dipeeka Barman, a six-year old schoolgirl was killed in a landslide incident at Panikhaiti in the eastern outskirts of Guwahati city early Monday morning, Pallabi Narai, a two-and-a-half year old girl died of drowning in floods in Lakhimpur district. The body of one Mahendra Dekaraja, who was washed away by floods in Kaki in Hojai district on Saturday evening, meanwhile was recovered on Monday.
Dipeeka Barman, a Class 1 student of a Jatiya Vidyalaya at Panikhaiti, a locality in the eastern part of the city, was getting ready for school when earth from the slope of the hill behind their tin-roofed bamboo house came tumbling down, instantly burying her. While Dipeeka died on the way to the hospital, her younger sister fractured one of her legs after she got stuck under the debris. The incident took place at around 7:45 AM on Monday. Today was the last day of school before the summer holidays.
Meanwhile, the Kamrup (Metro) district administration on Monday launched a publicity campaign asking people living in several vulnerable locations on the city’s several hills to shift to safer places in view of possibility of more landslides caused due to the heavy rains. Over 50,000 people have been living in the city’s hills – most of which are either reserved forests or government land – as encroachers, with rampant earth-cutting leading to landslides during the monsoon months.
Brahmaputra above red mark
The water-level of the Brahamputra and Barak, and several of its tributaries registered a rising trend on Monday, with the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) putting the number of people affected by floods at 3.55 lakh across 13 districts.
While the Brahmaputra was flowing above the danger level in Jorhat and Tezpur, it also showed a rising trend in Guwahati. The Barak river in southern Assam was also flowing above the red mark at Badarpurghat near Silchar for the fourth consecutive day on Monday.
Karimganj district remained the worst affected with the SDMA estimates saying over 2. 12 lakh people have been hit by floods there till Monday. In Lakhimpur in eastern Assam, over 92,000 people have been reeling under floods. Altogether about 21,000 people have been shifted to 77 relief camps in the flood-affected districts.