Over 25 lakh still affected in Assam floods; PM Modi takes stock of situation

According to a bulletin issued by Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), five more deaths due to drowning were reported from five affected districts on Sunday taking the death toll this season to 84.
A villager wades through the waterlogged road at a flood-affected Lalmati Village in Assam’sTezpur(ANI)
A villager wades through the waterlogged road at a flood-affected Lalmati Village in Assam’sTezpur(ANI)
Updated on Jul 19, 2020 09:01 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Guwahati | ByUtpal Parashar| Edited by Susmita Pakrasi

Floods continued to wreak havoc in Assam on Sunday with over 25 lakh people in 24 of the state’s 33 districts affected.

According to a bulletin issued by Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), five more deaths due to drowning were reported from five affected districts on Sunday taking the death toll this season to 84.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi telephoned Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Sunday to take stock of the flood, erosion, Covid-19 situation as well as efforts to control the fire at a natural gas well in Baghjan and assured all help from the Centre.

“The PM said that the central government was keeping a close watch on flood, erosion, Covid-19 and Baghjan situation in the state and had been standing closely with the people of Assam during these difficult times,” said a statement from Sonowal’s office.

According to the ASDMA bulletin, over 50,000 people uprooted by floods were taking shelter at 521 relief camps. Rescue personnel evacuated 366 stranded persons during Sunday and shifted them to safer locations.

“This year the floods have been unrelenting. As per fresh guidelines issued this year, administrations in the affected districts are ensuring maintenance of social distancing and safety precautions in the relief camps. No one has been infected by Covid-19 in the camps yet,” said Pankaj Chakraborty, state project coordinator ASDMA.

According to a Central Water Commission (CWC) bulletin, most rivers in the state continued to be in spate on Sunday. The Brahmaputra, Dhansiri, Jia Bharali, Kopili, Beki, Kusiyara and Sankosh flowed above the danger mark at several places.

Floods have affected wild animals in the state as well. Nine rhinos are among the 108 wild animals that have died during this year’s floods at Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve (KNPTR).

According to a bulletin issued by park authorities on Sunday, nearly 85% area of the park spread over 430 square km is under water at present. 43 of the 223 forest camps inside the park are inundated of which 6 have been vacated.

Till now 60 animals (36 hog deer, 8 rhinos, 3 wild buffalo, 1 python, 7 wild boar, 2 swamp deer, 1 Sambar and two porcupines) have died due to drowning. Fifteen hog deer have died after getting hit by vehicles on national highway 37 close to the park while trying to cross it to escape flood waters.

On Saturday, an adult male rhino had strayed out of the park and rested for several hours on NH37. The animal, which was being guarded by police and forest personnel, moved back to the park on Sunday morning.

“The animal was very exhausted as it was in water for 3-4 day and we were planning to shift it to the state zoo in Guwahati. But after resting for several hours it moved back inside. We are keeping a watch on it,” said P Sivakumar, director KNPTR.

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Friday, January 28, 2022