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Flash floods in Assam, 51 killed since July

Incessant rains in the past few days inundated parts of Dhemaji, North Lakhimpur, Golaghat, Sivasagar, Cachar, and Karmimganj.

india Updated: Sep 08, 2007 12:50 IST

Heavy rains have triggered flash floods in Assam displacing thousands of people overnight with the death toll since the first wave of flooding in July mounting to 51, officials said on Saturday.

A Central Water Commission bulletin said the main Brahmaputra river and its tributaries were flowing above the danger level in at least 15 places and in full spate.

"Incessant rains in the past few days resulted in heavy flooding in many parts of Dhemaji, North Lakhimpur, Golaghat, Sivasagar, Cachar, and Karmimganj," Bhumidhar Barman, Assam revenue, relief and rehabilitation minister, told IANS.

Close to 30,000 people were now sheltered in makeshift relief camps in the third wave of floods that began Wednesday.

An Assam government statement said nearly 7.1 million people were displaced since July with a total land area of 1.1 million hectares affected, including nearly four million hectares of cropland. "A total of 51 people have been drowned in separate incidents since July," the statement said.

The 2,906 km long Brahmaputra is one of Asia's largest rivers that traverse its first stretch of 1,625 km in China's Tibet region, the next 918 km in India and the remaining 363 km through neighbouring Bangladesh.

Every year the floods leave a trail of destruction in Assam, washing away villages, submerging paddy fields, drowning livestock, besides causing loss of human life and property.

In 2004, more than 200 people were killed in floods in Assam.

First Published: Sep 08, 2007 11:51 IST