Assam floods kill 11 more, toll crosses 120
Railway communication in the Northeast continued to be disrupted because of flood affected portions in Bihar and West Bengal.
The second wave of floods in Assam claimed 11 lives on Wednesday, taking the death toll to 39. The first wave ending mid-July had claimed 84 lives.
Officials of Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) said the deaths due to drowning were reported from six of the 24 flood-affected districts.
“The fresh floods have affected 33.45 lakh people, much more than in the first wave, and 1.39 lakh of them have taken shelter across 629 relief camps,” an ASDMA official said.
Assam had experienced worse floods, but the casualty this time – total 123 – has been unprecedented. Besides, flash floods and landslides have killed at least 64 people in Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura.
Meanwhile, railway communication in the Northeast continued to be disrupted because of flood affected portions in Bihar and West Bengal.
“Railway Board has directed all zonal railways to cancel trains travelling from various parts of the country beyond Malda (West Bengal) town and Katihar (Bihar) till August 20. However, for the benefit of stranded passenger, railway has arranged special trains between Guwahati and Dalkhola in West Bengal,” Pranav Jyoti Sharma, spokesperson of Northeast Frontier Railway, said.
Airlines have cashed in on the rail service disruption, hiking prices of flight tickets to and from Guwahati by more than 50%.
Bihar toll reaches 72
With 31 fresh deaths in the last 48 hours, the figure for flood casualties rose to 72 in the 14 flood affected districts of North Bihar on Wednesday even as reports of thousands of people stranded in the interiors of the Champarans and Seemanchal districts continued to pour in on Wednesday.
Owing to the alarming situation caused by the flash floods, the state government has pressed in 50 rescue teams comprising of columns of the Army, NDRF and SDRF, which include around 2100 trained personnel in the affected districts with 272 boats for evacuation to nearest relief centres.
Additional secretary disaster management department Anirudh Kumar told HT that special relief operations, including air-dropping of food packets by army helicopters, were being carried out in inaccessible areas, particularly in Araria and Kishanganj districts.