85 dead, 68 lakh displaced as rains pound north & east

Rajnath conducts aerial survey in Assam; swollen Ganga breaches in north Bengal

Updated - July 08, 2017 04:46 pm IST

Published - July 30, 2016 10:51 pm IST - Guwahati/Malda

With the monsoon trough moving toward northern parts of India, overflowing reservoirs and swirling rivers in combination with lightning strikes have claimed 85 lives over the last few days in Assam, Bihar and Odisha, displacing close to 68 lakh people and rendering tens of thousands homeless.

The National Disaster Response Force and State rescue and relief teams evacuated people from the danger zones and moved them to camps.

In Assam, which was the worst-affected on Saturday, more than two dozen lives were lost in the floods, and about 37 lakh people in 3,300 villages were displaced from their homes. Close to 80 per cent of the Kaziranga National Park, home to the one-horned rhinoceros, lay submerged.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, accompanied by Minster for Development of North Eastern Region (DONER) Jitendra Singh and Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonwal, conducted an aerial survey of the flood-hit areas of the State. In all, 14 NDRF flood rescue teams have been deployed and 64 boats pressed into service in Assam.

Mr. Singh held a review meeting with the Chief Minister, senior officials and rescue and relief teams, and promised all help from the Centre.

The swollen Ganga breached a two-km stretch of an embankment at Birnagar near the Farakka Barrage. ADM (Land Reforms) for Malda, Kanchan Chowdhury, told a press conference that repairs were under way on a war footing.

In Bihar, flood waters affected over 26 lakh people in 2,034 villages. Among the rivers flowing above the danger level are Baghmati at Benibad, Kamlabalan at Jhanjharpur and Kosi at Baltara, the Disaster Management Department said in a statement.

(With inputs from Satyasundar Barik in Bhubaneswar, Imran Gowhar in Bengaluru and agencies)

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