Northeast braces for fresh floods as Brahmaputra swells
Authorities issued fresh flood alerts along the mighty Brahmaputra river in northeastern India Friday after heavy monsoon rain sent water levels surging.Updated: Jun 28, 2003 10:28 IST
Authorities issued fresh flood alerts along the mighty Brahmaputra river in northeastern India on Friday after heavy monsoon rain sent water levels surging.
River traffic was suspended on parts of the river after a central water commission bulletin warned that it had crossed the danger mark at two places.
"The Brahmaputra river and its tributaries will further rise in the next two days with heavy monsoon rains lashing the region," warned the bulletin.
At least 400,000 people were left homeless in early June in India's northeastern state of Assam by flash floods triggered by heavy pre-monsoon rains.
The Brahmaputra river had receded last week giving some respite to thousands of displaced villagers.
"There was some improvement in the flood situation for about 10 days but again we find the Brahmaputra rising alarmingly and threatening to burst its banks," Assam's flood control minister Nurzamal Sarkar told AFP.
"We have put all our officials and workers on high alert as we have received reports that the Brahmaputra has breached several mud dykes."
Assam's revenue minister Mithias Tudu added that a second bout of flooding would add to the miseries of the people.
"Villagers affected by the first wave of floods are still staying in makeshift camps as their homes have been washed away," said Tudu, adding that meagre resources would now have to be diverted to addressing fresh problems.
Local authorities, mindful of last year's record-breaking floods in Assam, hastily erected sandbag barriers.
"We are fighting against all odds to try to minimize the devastation ... We do not have enough funds for relief and rescue operations," said flood control minister Sarkar.
"This time the federal government is still to release any funds to tackle the annual floods. We are somehow managing with our own limited resources."
At least 10 districts in Assam are bracing for floods with weather officials predicting heavy showers over the weekend.
"The second wave of flooding has always been more devastating ... We are terribly worried," said Tudu.
First Published: Jun 28, 2003 10:28 IST