50,000 displaced by second wave of Assam floods | india | Hindustan Times
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50,000 displaced by second wave of Assam floods

GUWAHATI, India, June 28 (AFP) - At least 50,000 people were displaced overnight in a second wave of floods triggered by heavy rains in the northeastern Indian state of Assam, officials said Saturday.

india Updated: Jun 28, 2003 14:14 IST

At least 50,000 people were displaced overnight in a second wave of floods triggered by heavy rains in Assam, officials said on Saturday.

Up to 50 villages were submerged when Assam's main river, the Brahmaputra, burst its banks in the eastern districts of Dhemaji and Jorhat, officials in the two districts said.

About 400,000 people had been displaced in the state in the first wave of floods in early June, but the waters receded last week.

Ali Mian, a senior administrator in Dhemaji district 460 kilometreseast of Guwahati, said the main highway leading to the area had been flooded, cutting off road travel.

"People have constructed footbridges made of bamboo poles to cross certain breached portions of the highway," Mian told AFP by telephone.

Authorities in Dhemaji, where 30,000 people were displaced in 15 villages, have stockpiled basic supplies including medicines, Mian said.

"We have enough food, grains and other essentials to tide over the crisis," he said.

Floodwaters also inundated at least 35 villages in Majuli, the world's largest river island, 350 kilometres (17 miles) east of Guwahati, affecting up to 20,000 people, said Ratul Pathak, a magistrate in the district.

Assam Flood Control Minister Nurzamal Sarkar said the situation remained grim with fears the Brahmaputra may burst its banks at any moment in other parts of the state.

"We are maintaining a close watch on the situation, which definitely is not good with heavy showers lashing the region for the past few days," he told AFP.

A Central Water Commission bulletin said the river had crossed the danger level in five main channels, while in eight vulnerable areas it was flowing above the warning level.