Assam flood situation turns more worsen, claiming 5 more lives and affecting 11 lakh people
by Hemanta Kumar Nath, 12/08/2017, Guwahati

Assam flood situation on Saturday turned more worsen after the flood waters of Brahmaputra and its tributaries inundated more areas and affecting around 11 lakh people of 19 dstricts of the state. The second wave flood had claimed 5 lives as total death toll mounted to 89 in this year so far in the state. According to the reports of Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), on Friday two persons drowned in flood-hit Dhemaji district, while one each in Morigaon, Kokrajhar and Lakhimpur. “Around 11 lakh people of 19 districts are affecting in the second wave flood. The water level of Brahmaputra river flowing over danger level marks in Nematighat in Jorhat, Dibrugarh, Tezpur in Sonitpur, Dhubri following incessant rains in the stateand neighbouring Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Bhutan. The water level of Burhidehing, Subansiri, Dhansiri, Jia Bharali, Puthimari, Beki, Gaurang, Sankosh also crossed danger level marks in many places,” a top official of ASDMA said.The ASDMA official further said that, over 1.92 lakh people affected alone in Dhubri district, while 1.50 lakh people affected in Dhemaji, 1.30 lakh in Bongaigaon, 1.09 lakh in Kokrajhar, 77 thousand in Golaghat, 74 thousand in Barpeta, 57 thousand in Dibrugarh district.

The flood waters had washed away several embankments in Dhemaji, Darrang, Chirang, Kokrajhar district and damaging more than 60 roads and many bridges, culverts.The rescue teams of NDRF and SDRF had evacuated 2615 persons in flood-hit Barpeta, Bongaigaon, Kokrajhar, Morigaon, Majuli, Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts. Following the devasting flood, around 64,000 people are homeless and forced them to take shelter in the relief camps set up by the districts administration.The top ASDMA official said that, the flood waters submerged over 1 lakh hectare crop areas of 66 revenue circles in the state till Friday.On the other hand, over 70 per cent areas of Kaziranga National Park now in the grip of flood and wild animals have been forced to take shelter in safer places.“Several animals of the park had taken shelter in neighbouring Karbi Anglong hills area by crossing NH-37. Following the situation, we have introduced time cards in NH-37 to control the speed of vehicles,” a park official said. A total of 124 animals including 9 one horned rhinos were died in the world heritage site in the first wave of flood. On the other hand, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Friday visited two flood relief camps situated at Dhelakhat at Tinsukia and Dinjoy Hazarimal Higher Secornadry School at Dibrugarh district and enquired about the arrangements for the inmates of the camps.

He also interacted with the inmates who expressed their satisfaction over the arrangements and took stock of their problems while also enquiring about the quality of relief materials provided to them. Later talking to the media persons, the Assam CM said that the government’s first priority is to provide relief materials to all the flood affected people at this hour and all Deputy Commissioners have been instructed to ensure adequate flood relief to the affected people.“Proper rehabilitation measures have been taken for the affected people and no stone would be left unturned in helping the distraught people at this hour,” Sonowal said. Saying that flood is not only Assam’s problem as it also causes havoc in neighboring coutries like Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh etc, Sonowal stated that a multi state and multi nation approach for finding permanent solution to the problem of flood would be adopted by the government so that recurring damages and devastations can be avoided in future. Saying that embankments are the major safeguards against floods, Sonowal stated that due to lack of proper strengthening of these embankments during last 70 years most of these became vulnerable and prone to breach in few areas.The present government therefore worked vigorously to repair and strengthen the embankments before the onset of monsoon and completed the works of 88 numbers of embankments in the state.

Reiterating that relief and rehabilitation works are the topmost priority of the government at this hour to mitigate the damages and hardships of the people on an urgent basis, Sonowal stated that central government has taken the flood situation of the state very seriously and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had himself reviewed the relief and rehabilitation measures carried out so far in the state on August 1 at Guwahati and announced a package for immediate relief and rehabilitation for the flood hit people of Assam and other North Eastern states.Sonowal also said that indicating the sincerity of the central government in solving the perennial problem of flood in the state, a seven member Inter Ministerial Central team visited Assam on July 25 as per directions of the Prime Minister within a week’s time to assess the damage due to the recent wave of flood in the state and the first time visit of such a high level team augurs well for the state. Stating that the river beds of Brahmaputra and its other tributaries have become shallow reducing their water carrying capacity, Sonowal said that increased rainfall this year also have made matters worse as the state has witnessed severe floods.