5 killed in Northeast floods
At least five people have died and more than 300,000 have been displaced in mudslides and flash floods sparked by heavy monsoon rains in the Northeast, officials said on Tuesday.
Police said two people were drowned late on Monday when their boat capsized in the Brahmaputra river in Dhubri district in Assam, 340 km from here.
"The two were among several people trying to reach safer areas to escape the floods when it capsized," the official said.
A mother and an infant died in Shillong, capital of the adjoining state of Meghalaya, following heavy landslides triggered by incessant rains during the past five days.
A baby girl died in Tripura on Sunday after falling from her mother's lap who was crossing a flooded area in a rowboat.
In Assam, the flood situation worsened overnight with the Brahmaputra breaching several mud embankments in the eastern and western districts.
An Assam government statement Tuesday said up to 290,000 people had been uprooted from their homes since Friday when the second wave of flood began in the state.
About 400,000 people were displaced in Assam during the first wave of floods in early June but the waters receded last fortnight.
"Flooding is very severe in seven districts spread over some 370 villages," Assam Revenue Minister Mithias Tudu said.
The Brahmaputra crossed the danger level in at least 11 main channels, including Guwahati, inundating several low-lying areas.
"The Brahmaputra was maintaining a rising trend all along its course with the river flowing more than two meters above the danger mark in some areas," a Central Water Commission bulletin Tuesday said.
Assam Flood Control Minister Nurzamal Sarkar said the worst affected districts were Dhemaji, Kamrup, Jorhat, Goalpara, Dhubri, Darrang, and Nalbari.
"There have been several breaches in mud embankments across the state, besides floodwaters overtopping highways disrupting road traffic in some areas," Sarkar said.
The authorities ordered river banks to be strengthened with sand bags, fearing that rains in the next few days were likely to worsen flooding.
"Soldiers are on standby," the Revenue Minister said.
At least 50 villages in Tripura have also come under floodwaters following torrential rains. Some 10,000 people have lost their homes in the state which, like Assam, borders Bangladesh.