Assam flood waters show receding trend, but death toll rises to 59https://indianexpress.com/article/india/flood-waters-show-receding-trend-in-assam-as-death-toll-mounts-to-595839570/

Assam flood waters show receding trend, but death toll rises to 59

Assam floods: The waters of the deluge, which caused large scale devastations across the state, receded from Baksa, Hojai and Majuli districts but continued to submerge 1.51 lakh hectare of cropland and a large part of Kaziranga National Park, where 10 rhinos have been killed.

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An Indian woman wades through floodwaters to collect drinking water in Gagalmari, east of Gauhati, capital of the northeastern Indian state of Assam. (AP)

The situation in Assam continued to remain precarious as the death toll in the rampaging floods rose to 59 on Saturday, news agency PTI reported. However, floodwaters showed a receding trend in the state. Around 24 of the state’s 33 districts still remain inundated.

The waters of the deluge, which caused large scale devastations across the state, receded from Baksa, Hojai and Majuli districts but continued to submerge 1.51 lakh hectare of cropland and a large part of Kaziranga National Park, where 10 rhinos have been killed.

Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said his government was doing everything to provide relief to people affected by floods. “I want to thank Central government & Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on behalf of the people of Assam for their help,” Sonowal was quoted as saying by ANI.

The Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) flood bulletin reported five deaths from Morigaon district, three from Barpeta, two from South Salmara and one each from Nalbari and Dhubri districts during the day taking the toll to 59. Read more | Flood fury grips all of Assam, Army called in for rescue

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At least 3,024 villages in the affected districts continued to be underwater and 44,08,142 people are hit in Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Biswanath, Sonitpur, Darrang, Barpeta, Nalbari, Chirang, Bongaigaon, Kokrajhar, Dhubri, South Salmara, Goalpara, Kamrup, Kamrup (Metro), Morigaon, Nagaon, Karbi Anglong, Golaghat, Jorhat, Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Cachar and Karimganj districts, it said.

A defence release said that a large scale flood relief operation is underway in flood-hit areas of lower Assam by the Army and rescue columns are pressed into working round the clock. Despite incessant heavy rain, 488 persons were evacuated and rescued while relief material was provided to another 450 people. Disaster relief tasks have been executed on a war footing in Baksa, Nalbari, Barpeta, Dhekiajuli and Morigaon districts, it said.

In the districts where the waters have ebbed, the displaced people are returning to their homes. The ASDMA bulletin said over 1.32 lakh displaced people are still in 689 relief camps and 240 relief distribution centres set up by the district administrations.

In Kaziranga National Park, a World Heritage site, the flood water level recorded a drop of 138 cm. The calamity has claimed the lives of 129 animals, including 10 rhinos, 62 hog deer, eight sambhar deer and an equal number of wild boar, five swamp deer, two porcupines, an elephant and a wild buffalo since July 13, a release by its divisional forest officer said on Saturday.

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Flood-affected people stand with their cattle on a submerged road in Gagalmari, east of Gauhati, capital of the northeastern Indian state of Assam. (AP)

While some of the animals perished in the floods, others were hit by vehicles while crossing the adjacent national highway 37 in an attempt to reach highland in nearby Karbi Anglong district.

The Brahmaputra river continues to flow above the danger level at Neamatighat in Jorhat district, Goalpara, Dhubri, Dhansiri at Numaligarh in Golaghat district and Kopili at Dharamtul in Nagaon district, the ASDMA bulletin said.

Also read: Floods wreak havoc in Assam, Bihar; over 1 crore affected, 114 dead

Many complained to the state Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sharma and to the media in different places that they have not been provided with adequate gratuitous relief items or accommodation in the relief centres forcing some to live in makeshift homes on boats. Sharma directed the district authorities concerned to ensure relief materials in the shelters.