3.5 mn hit by floods in Assam, Bihar
According to the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) data, floods have affected over 2.7 million people in 26 of the state’s 33 districts.Updated: Jul 25, 2020 05:50 IST
The flood situation in Bihar and Assam remained grim on Friday with close to 3.5 million people affected because of the deluge, officials in the two states said. Floods during the monsoon are not unusual in places like Bihar and Assam, but this year several parts of eastern Indian have received heavier rainfall and triggered severe floods.
Officials said northern Bihar is among the worst-hit regions because of heavy rains in Nepal, which have claimed 132 lives there. The heavy rainfall has swollen the rivers that originate in Nepal.
The Gandak has breached embankments in Gopalganj and East Champaran and flooded vast stretches in the districts. Engineer in-chief, flood control, water resources department, Rajesh Kumar, said the restoration work was going on the western embankment that breached in Gopalganj on Friday.
The floods in Bihar have so far affected around 7,65,000 people in 10 districts, officials said. They added Darbhanga is the worst-hit district, where the deluge has affected 3,25,000 people.
The National Disaster Response Force and the state agencies have launched operations to rescue the marooned people and take them to safer places.
According to the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) data, floods have affected over 2.7 million people in 26 of the state’s 33 districts. As many as 96 people have drowned and landslides triggered by heavy rains have left another 26 dead in the state this season.
Over 50,000 displaced people have been sheltered in 301 relief camps while floodwaters have inundated crops over 1.22-hectare area across Assam.
“We are witnessing the third wave of floods. Rainfall and flooding have been taking place since May end. While rainfall has taken place as per IMD [India Meteorological Department] prediction, climate change could be a reason for lack of a gap between waves of floods,” said Pankaj Chakraborty, state project coordinator, ASDMA.
The floods continue to affect the Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve (KNPTR) with 85% of its area of over 430 sq km inundated. This season, 125 animals of the park including 13 rhinos (9 due to drowning and 4 due to natural causes) have died in and around the park.
Prince William, the second in line to the British throne, wrote to KNPTR director P. Sivakumar on July 21, saying he and his wife, Catherine, were heartbroken to hear about the appalling devastation to the reserve and its precious wildlife because of flooding. “We have the happiest memories of our visit to Kaziranga in April 2016 and are shocked by what has happened. The deaths of so many animals, including one-horned rhino, is deeply upsetting.”