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Wednesday, August 05, 2020

Assam floods: Six more killed, more than 21 lakh affected

Barpeta continues to be the worst-hit district, with more than five lakh people affected.

Written by Tora Agarwala | Guwahati | Updated: July 13, 2020 11:58:42 pm
Assam floods, assam flood death toll, assam flood news, kaziranga national park flood, kaziranga animals dead flood, assam news, indian express As per the Kaziranga National Park authorities, 39 animals, mostly hog deer, have died in the floods or road kills (while crossing NH-37 to escape the waters) this year. (Photo courtesy: KNP Authorities)

The current wave of floods in Assam has affected more than 21 lakh people in 27 districts of the state, killing six people on Monday. With that, the flood-related deaths now stand at 50.

Earlier on Sunday, landslides induced by heavy rain had killed two in Nagaon district. The total death count, as a result of floods and landslides since May, is 76.

In Kaziranga National Park, 39 animals have died.

However, as per an Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) official, the situation could possibly improve from Tuesday, with the waters stabilising. A release from the Central Water Commission stated: “Intensity of rainfall over Northeast India has substantially reduced. However, isolated heavy falls are likely over the region during the next 3-4 days.”

Assam floods, assam flood death toll, assam flood news, kaziranga national park flood, kaziranga animals dead flood, assam news, indian express “The waters are not as bad as 2019 yet,” said P Sivakumar, KNP Director, adding that the water level so far made it the sixth highest flood since 1988. (Photo courtesy: KNP Authorities)

The evening release from the ASDMA said that the six deaths were reported from Lakhimpur, Barpeta, Bongaigaon, Kamrup, Golaghat and Sivasagar districts. As per the release, 60,696 people were lodged in 480 relief camps across the state. Barpeta continues to be the worst-hit district, with more than five lakh people affected.

On Monday, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal visited two flood relief camps at Chabua and Bindhakota in Dibrugarh district to take stock of the situation. Earlier in the day, CM Sonowal along with Union Minister of State for Food Processing Rameswar Teli and Water Resources Minister Keshab Mahanta inspected the erosion-hit areas of Rohmoria in Dibrugarh, and announced three schemes worth Rs 25 crore for “finding permanent solution to the problem of erosion caused by River Brahmaputra in the area.”

Meanwhile in Kaziranga National Park (KNP), floodwaters breached the National Highway 37 — which cuts across the park — leading the administration to temporarily close the road as a precautionary measure.

“Whereas due to inundation of some portions of NH-37 between Kohora to Bagori, Sub-Divisional Administration of Bokakhat Sub- Division has promulgated prohibitory order u/s 144 of the Cr. PC prohibiting movement of all kinds of vehicles on the flooded stretch of the highway in the interest of public safety,” stated a release from office of the sub-divisional officer, Kaliabor, Nagaon district.

The park authorities said that 166 out of the 223 anti-poaching camps of KNP are under water. Seven have been vacated.

“The waters are not as bad as 2019 yet,” said P Sivakumar, KNP Director, adding that the water level so far made it the sixth highest floods since 1988.

Earlier in the day, a sub-adult tiger took refuge in a goat shed near a house in the Kandolimari village in the Agratoli range of the park. “It came about 11.30 am, took some rest and swam away at 7.30 pm,” said Rathin Barman, head of the Centre of Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC), which takes in injured and orphan wild animals of KNP.

In 2019, when KNP had experienced one of its most severe bouts of floods in years, a tiger had taken refuge in a home in Bagori range. “The policy is not to disturb them,” said Barman, adding that the CWRC had rescued 30 animals on Monday.

As per the release from KNP, 39 animals — mostly hog deer — have died in the floods or road kills (while crossing NH-37 to escape the waters) this year.

Barman said that once waters begin to recede next week, the authorities will be able to assess the “real damage.” “Once the waters recede, we will be able to ascertain if more animals, especially rhinos and tigers, have drowned,” he said.

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