The flood situation in Assam further deteriorated with 80 more villages being affected, while Prime Minister Manmohan Singh spoke to Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi to discuss the situation and extended the Centre’s help.
With these 80 villages coming under water in Dhemaji, Chirang and Lakhimpur districts, altogether 350 villages in 11 districts are now submerged affecting over one lakh people, Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) said.
Heavy rainfall in the catchment areas of neighbouring state of Arunachal Pradesh has caused river Jiadhol to rise and inundate fresh areas in worst-hit Dhemaji district.
The Brahmaputra was flowing above the danger level at Nematighat in Jorhat district, Burhidehing in Dibrugarh district, Desang in Sibsagar and Jia Bharali in Sonitpur.
The first wave of flood this season since June has claimed one life in Morigaon district. About 6,000 hectares of agricultural land have been submerged with standing crops, like rice, being destroyed.
Seven relief camps have been set up in Dhemaji and Chirang districts where about 1,500 people were sheltered. The flood victims claimed there were no river embankments at various places or those breached by earlier floods were not repaired before the flood. Floods have damaged six roads, one bridge, three culverts in Golaghat district, breached an embankment each at Madanpur and Chandpur in Karimganj district, ASDMA said.
The rise in the Brahmaputra’s water level at Neematighat in Assam over the last few days has led to the flooding of low-lying areas on the edges of the Kaziranga National Park (KNP). A Central Water Commission report said the river is flowing 1.64 m above the danger mark and continues to rise.
Meanwhile, the three districts of Dhemaji, Lakhimpur and Chirang were still submerged till Tuesday. With 2,332 people taking shelter in eight relief camps in Chirang and Dhemaji, around 34,562 remained severely affected by the floods.
At KNP, speedboats and other rescue equipment have been made given to all anti-poaching camps, park director NK Vasu said. “There is no threat due to the flood waters as of now,” he claimed. The floods leave animals vulnerable to poaching every year as they flee to higher ground outside the park. Vasu said additional forest staff has been deployed to foil poachers.