People stranded on trees and roofs for over three days in Tinsukia district

The Tinsukia district administration on Saturday requisitioned the services of the Indian Air Force (IAF) on Sunday for the aerial rescue of several thousand people marooned in floods in 25 villages. They have taken shelter for the past three days on roof-tops and tree-tops. The overall flood situation remained grim in all upper Assam districts due to incessant rains in the upper reaches of the Brahmaputra in neighbouring Arunachal Pradesh and also in several lower Assam districts following breaches in embankments and rise in water level of the river and its tributaries in Bhutan.

Tinsukia Deputy Commissioner S.S. Meenakshisundaram told The Hindu that rescue teams of the 12 Assam Regiment have so far rescued 550 marooned people. He said IAF choppers did one sortie of heli-dropping food items among marooned people in Sadiya on Saturday and would be doing more sorties for dropping food and rescuing people on Sunday.

So far four Army columns and two teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed in the district for rescue and relief operations while one more NDRF team is scheduled to reach there. Mr. Meenakshisundaram said two NRDF teams negotiated surging flood waters for over seven hours to reach marooned villagers while it normally took only one and a half hours to cross the river.

Floodwaters have also submerged about 35 per cent area of the Kaziranga National Park. Park Director Sanjib Kumar Bora said the water was rising slowly and steadily and had submerged 69 camps of forest guards.

Six camps had been shifted to safer places. Since Friday, two hog deer, one sambar and one wild boar have drowned in the floods.

He said prohibitory orders under Section 144 had been re-promulgated and time cards had been reintroduced to check vehicular speed limit. This was to prevent killing of animals crossing the National Highway 37 towards the Karbi Anglong side in the event of migration due to floods.

The park director said so far large-scale migration of animals had not taken place but patrolling by park authorities had been intensified.

The river island Majuli has remained cut off for the past three days with ferry services from Neematighat in Jorhat suspended as the Brahmaputra flowed well over the danger mark.

The flood situation on the river island continued to be grim as vast areas were submerged by floodwaters that gushed in through a breach in an embankment.

Ferry services between Guwahati and North Guwahati across the Brahmaputra have also been suspended.