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Updated: August 21, 2010 12:25 IST

50,000 displaced in Assam flash floods

IANS
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Rickshaw pullers wade through a flooded street after heavy rains at Anil Nagar in Guwahati on Friday.
PTI Rickshaw pullers wade through a flooded street after heavy rains at Anil Nagar in Guwahati on Friday.

Heavy monsoon rains triggered flash floods in Assam on Saturday, displacing at least 50,000 people in the State’s Lakhimpur district, officials said. No casualties have been reported.

A government spokesperson said floodwaters of Singora river, a tributary of the Brahmaputra river, entered at least 40 villages forcing residents to take shelter on raised platforms and railway tracks.

“There has been a breach of about 20 to 30 metres in two embankments and that led to floodwaters entering human settlements,” a district official said.

“So far, there are no reports of casualties in the floods. Measures are being taken to plug the breaches in the mud embankments.

“We have sounded maximum alert and have already kept disaster management teams on standby. We are also taking stock of essentials and other commodities in the district,” the official added.

Locals blamed the authorities for swindling Central funds for strengthening embankments.

“Huge amount of money sanctioned by the Central government for construction and repair works of embankments were pocketed by contractors and officials and the result is that one big push breaches the mud dykes,” said Dharanidhar Das, a local resident.

The 2,906-km-long Brahmaputra is one of Asia’s largest rivers and traverses its first stretch of 1,625 km in Tibet region, the next 918 km in India and the remaining 363 km through neighbouring Bangladesh before flowing into the Bay of Bengal.

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