Flood situation grim in Dhemaji; death toll goes up to six and two others still missing

The flood situation in the worst-hit Dhemaji district in northern Assam continued to be critical on Thursday with both road and railway communications to the district still being cut off, and thousands of displaced people forced to take shelter on embankments and relief camps. The death toll in the district has gone up to six while there were reports of two persons still missing.

So far 1,54,488 people of 261 villages in four revenue circles of the district —Sisiborgaon, Gogamukh, Jonai and Dhemaji — have been severely hit in the floods since August 15. The district authorities have opened 12 relief camps in which 7190 people have been provided shelter. The cumulative figure of population affected in the district in the floods since July is about three lakh.

The flood waters have caused 50 metres of breach on National Highway 52 near Gainadi. Another portion of NH 52 was breached near Komotia bridge at Somrajan while eight roads (under the Public Works Department) were damaged. Several roads in Dhemaji town have been submerged.

Emergency search and rescue teams of 1 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), which were pressed into service since August 15, have rescued 217 people in the district amid incessant rainfall. As soon as information was received from Dhemaji district about the sudden rise in water level in River Kumotia and Gainadi that changed course all of a sudden, two NDRF search and rescue teams were mobilised to the affected areas in Dhemaji and Lakhimpur. Two response bases were established in the partially submerged Gogamukh and Sisiborgoan areas, and rescue operation was launched.

NDRF commandant Alok Kumar Singh appealed to the affected people to “activate the human chain of warning (passing threat information by loud cry) in such situations so that everyone could go to higher and safer ground.” He also urged the people not to take shelter in temporary houses or trees as they could be washed away by flash floods, stated an official release by NDRF.

Four other districts — Barpeta, Sonitpur, Jorhat and Dhubri — have also been affected by fresh floods since Wednesday.