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Floods in northeast displace 860,000

The flood situation in India's northeast worsened overnight with hundreds of villages swamped, taking the number of people displaced during the week to more than 860,000, officials said Saturday.

india Updated: Jul 05, 2003 17:32 IST

The flood situation in the northeast worsened overnight with hundreds of villages swamped, taking the number of people displaced during the week to more than 860,000, officials said on Saturday.

Since June 27, at least 13 people have drowned or been buried by mudslides in the three northeastern states of Assam, Tripura and Meghalaya, they said.

An Assam government statement said 18 of the 24 districts in the state had been hit by the floods affecting 852,402 people, besides damaging 28,758 hectares of farmland.

At least 10,000 people have also been displaced by floods in Tripura state.

"The flood situation is critical in many districts with road communication remaining snapped due to breaches caused by the surging floodwaters," Assam Revenue Minister Mithias Tudu told AFP.

"People are facing tremendous hardships across the state due to the floods."

About 400,000 people were displaced during the first wave of floods in early June, but the waters later receded.

But since late June the main Brahmaputra river has again flooded, breaching mud embankments, washing away railway tracks and engulfing villages.

"We have opened hundreds of makeshift relief camps to shelter people affected by the floods," said Tudu.

"We are providing food and medicines as far as possible to the inmates."

Water-borne diseases have broken out in many places, because of a lack of clean drinking water, with people suffering from dysentery, gastroenteritis, and jaundice.

"We have pressed medical teams and paramedics into service to deal with the situation," Assam Health Minister Bhumidhar Barman told AFP.

"In some areas, our doctors have set up floating clinics aboard engine boats to treat people living in the middle of their marooned villages."

The regions worst-hit by floods are the eastern Assam districts of Dhemaji and Morigaon, besides western Dhubri and Nalbari.

str/er/an/mfc

First Published: Jul 05, 2003 17:32 IST