Flood-hit Assam puts rescuers on ‘war footing’; death toll in Northeast rises to 83
The floods caused by torrential rains across the hilly states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Manipur over the past two weeks, have also triggered landslides.Updated: Jul 14, 2017 19:25 IST
Floods in the Northeast have killed at least 83 people and led to the death of three rare one-horned rhinoceros at Assam’s Kaziranga national park that has the world’s largest concentration of the species.
The floods caused by torrential rains across the hilly states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Manipur over the past two weeks, have also triggered landslides. In all more than 2 million people have been displaced, authorities say.
“Assam is the worst hit, with 53 lives lost so far in floods and landslides with some 2 million people displaced,” Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal told Reuters.
“Relief and rescue operations are going on a war footing.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sent a team of federal government officials, led by MoS home minister Kiren Rijiju, to assess the damage.
The overflowing Brahmaputra River has also completely marooned the Kaziranga wildlife sanctuary in Assam, forcing animals to flee to safer areas.
A one-horned rhinoceros drowned on Friday, taking the toll of the endangered animals in the flooding to three, Assam’s forest minister, Pramila Rani Brahma, told Reuters.
The Kaziranga National Park, a UNESCO world heritage site, is home to an estimated 2,500 rhinos out of a world population of some 3,000.
Nearly 60 other animals, mostly deer and wild boars, have been killed in the floods, she said.
Funds to Arunachal Pradesh
Rijiju and Arunachal chief minister Pema Khandu on Friday undertook an aerial survey of flood-hit districts in the state where all major roads and highways have been damaged by landslides due to heavy rains.
Rijiju said, “Though the entire state has suffered and borne the brunt of rains and landslides which have damaged highways and roads, I have asked the authorities to restore the roads within a month.”
The Centre also released advance grant-in-aid of Rs 51.30 crore to Arunachal Pradesh for rescue and relief operations after flash floods.
At least 14 people were killed in Arunachal’s Laptap village when their homes were swept away in a landslide on July 11.
First Published: Jul 14, 2017 19:25 IST