Assam flood situation critical; 12 dead, over 20 lakh affected

  • Digambar Patowary, Hindustan Times, Guwahati
  • Updated: Jul 28, 2016 02:22 IST
A Mishing tribal man carries grass for his cattle on a boat surrounded by flood waters at Majuli, Assam, Wednesday, July 27, 2016. Heavy rains and floods have affected over 20 lakh people in the state. (AP)

The flood situation in Assam remained critical on Wednesday with over 20 lakh people affected in the current spell of heavy rains in 20 districts. Rain-related incidents have claimed over a dozen lives in the last few days.

Following incessant rains in most parts of the state and in hills of Arunachal Pradesh and Bhutan in last 72 hours, almost all tributaries of Brahmaputra river are overflowing. Water in the Brahmaputra has crossed the danger mark in the entire valley. In Guwahati, the river was flowing 81 cm above danger level on Wednesday.

In view of the grave flood situation, the ongoing budget session of the state assembly has been adjourned till August 8. Chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Wednesday appealed all MLAs to visit flood-affected areas in their respective constituency.

Union home minister Rajnath Singh is expected to visit the state this week to take the stock of flood situation in the state.

Vast areas of the four national parks of Kaziranga, Manas, Orang Rajiv Gandhi and Dibru Saikhowa have been affected. Over 80% areas of Kaziranga National Park (KNP) have been submerged in surging waters of the Brahmaputra.

Large number of animals have crossed National Highway 37, which passes through the park, to higher grounds on the southern side of the park. The Golaghat district administration has introduced ‘time card’ for vehicle movement on NH-37 on the Kaziranga stretch.

Due to heavy rains in Bhutan hills for past one week, the tributaries of Brahmaputra originating in the hills of the neighbouring country have been overflowing, creating havoc downstream in lower Assam areas. Breaches in the embankments of Brahmaputra tributaries were reported at six places.

In the country’s largest river island of Majuli, vast areas have been submerged since Monday. A breach in the Brahmaputra embankment at Haldhimari in the river island on Tuesday has made the situation critical.

Chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal has ordered the officials of the flood-affected districts to intensify relief measures. Sonowal will visit his home constituency of Majuli on Thursday. The Assam government has also announced Rs 4 lakh as an ex-gartia to next to the kin of those killed in the flood.

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