Flash floods triggered by heavy monsoon rains in Assam have displaced an estimated 200,000 people in the past two days with the state government sounding an alert as more than 300 villages were inundated, officials said on Friday.
"Four districts of Lakhimpur, Dhemaji, Jorhat and Nagaon were hit by the current wave of flooding that has left about 200,000 people displaced in some 350-odd villages during the past two days," said Assam Revenue and Rehabilitation Minister Bhumidhar Barman.
Most of the displaced people are now lodged at makeshift shelters on raised embankments. "We are providing food and medical support to the flood-hit people," Barman said.
There have been several breaches in embankments in Dhakhukhana area in the eastern Lakhimpur district; besides at least two dikes have been washed away in South Asia's biggest river island of Majuli in Jorhat district, about 320 km east of Assam's main city of Guwahati.
"The situation is critical and we are trying our best to mitigate the woes of the people," said Flood Control Minister Prithvi Majhi.
A Central Water Commission bulletin Friday said the main Brahmaputra river and its tributaries were flowing above the danger level in at least eight places and in full spate.
An Assam government statement said a total land area of 3,000 hectares was affected.
The 2,906-km long Brahmaputra is one of Asia's largest rivers. For its first 1,625 km it traverses through Tibet, the next 918 km in India, and the remaining 363 km through Bangladesh before reaching the Bay of Bengal.
Every year the floods in Assam leave a trail of destruction, washing away villages, submerging paddy fields, drowning livestock and causing loss of human life and property.
In 2004, more than 200 people were killed in floods in Assam - the worst flooding in recent years.