Northeast floods: Five drown in Assam, Manipur highways cut-off
Flood fury diminishes in Odisha, but villages in north-costal Andhra Pradesh inundatedindia Updated: Jul 17, 2017 20:43 IST
The flood situation in the Northeast improved on Monday, but five people drowned in Assam and Manipur’s connectivity woes were compounded after a British era steel bridge on a national highway collapsed partially.
The Assam flood death toll since April is now 65 with 7.65 lakh people in 17 inundated districts still unable to return home. More than 18,900 of them are spread across 256 relief camps, officials of Assam State Disaster Management Authority said.
Officials in Manipur’s Tamenglong district said a part of the bride across river Barak along NH37 gave way on Monday morning, leaving more than 400 Imphal-bound goods trucks stranded. The bridge is about 120km west of Imphal.
NH37, which connects Imphal to southern Assam’s Silchar, is one of the two lifelines of Manipur. The other is NH2 via Nagaland, which has been cut-off since Saturday after a massive landslide took away a 150-metre stretch 22 km south of Kohima.
Some goods trucks were diverted from the more popular NH2 route after Saturday’s landslide.
“We have supplies to last 24-30 days but we will have to think of alternatives if the two highways are not repaired fast,” a transport officer said.
On Monday, Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal asked officials to provide relief material to every flood-affected family, “even to those who are not in relief camps”.
Officials in Manipur have been unable to collate flood damage data.
Food packets airdropped in Odisha
Water level in several rivers receded Monday and the flood situation in Rayagada and Kalahandi districts improved. The state government started serving food through free kitchens.
“Despite intermittent rains, there is a slight improvement in the flood situation in Rayagada and Kalahandi districts. Choppers are airdropping food packets,” said Odisha special relief commissioner Bishnupada Sethi. “Around 3000 relief packets have been distributed.”
The state government continued to be on alert as the low pressure area over Bay of Bengal was likely to turn into depression during the next 24 hours resulting in heavy rain . The Bansadhara river continued to swell, crossing the danger mark near Kasinagar in Gajapati district.
Health minister Pratap Jena said special medical teams had camped in Rayagada district.
Flash flood impact in north-coastal Andhra
Several villages in north-costal Andhra’s Srikakulam and Vizianagaram districts were inundated and standing crops in thousands of acres were damaged as heavy rains in southern Odisha resulted in flash floods in Nagavali river.
The floods also disrupted train services between Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.
With the Nagavali river in spate, Vizinagaram authorities released 29,000 cusecs of water from Thotapalli barrage, resulting in inundation of low-lying areas. District authorities in Srikakulam district, downstream of the river, also evicted people from the low-lying areas to the safer places.
Vizianagaram collector Vivek Yadav and Srikakulam district collector K Dhanunjay Reddy visited the flood-hit areas. “There is no threat to the lives of the people. But there is heavy damage to crops,” Reddy told mediapersons.