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Assam flood situation worsens, toll rises to 18

IANS  Guwahati, June 28, 2012
First Published: 17:18 IST(28/6/2012) | Last Updated: 17:20 IST(28/6/2012)

Heavy rainfall in Assam since early June has killed at least 18 people till Thursday and has flooded 21 districts in the state.

Announcing the floods damage, Assam agriculture minister Nilamoni Sen Deka said that the toll was likely to rise as unconfirmed reports of four more persons dying have come in from different parts.

The minister said that a total of 850,000 people and about 70,000 hectares of cropland have been affected so far by the floods.

The National Disaster Rescue Force (NDRF) has deployed 16 teams in rescue operations supported by seven teams from the State Disaster Rescue Force (SDRF).

A single team of the NDRF is made up of 40 personnel and six life-boats.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) also has pressed into service its helicopters for rescue and relief operations.

"The district administration has opened 154 relief camps for the flood-affected people and about two lakh people have been taking shelter at relief camps in different districts," said the state agriculture minister.

"Of 21 districts, nine districts have been identified as badly affected by the floods - Sonitpur, Lakhimpur, Dhemaji, Tinsukia, Horhat, Sivsagar, Kamrup, Nagaon and Barpeta."

"The river island Majuli has witnessed the worst floods and about 82,000 people were affected there. However, the flood waters have been receding since Thursday morning," the minister said.

"We have sanctioned adequate relief material and the government has sanctioned additional financial powers to the Deputy Commissioners in flood-affected districts to carry out relief and rescue operations in their respective districts from today," he added.

The surging flood waters have breached embankments of the Brahmaputra river and its tributaries at least at 25 different locations.

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