Other States

2 more dead, 4.62 lakh hit by floods

Locals in Nagaon crossing a flooded area on a makeshift raft on Saturday.

Locals in Nagaon crossing a flooded area on a makeshift raft on Saturday.  

21 districts in Assam inundated, people in landslide-prone areas advised to shift

Two more people drowned on Saturday and more than 4.62 lakh people displaced as 21 out of Assam’s 33 districts reeled under floods.

There were also reports of landslips in three districts, including Kamrup (Metropolitan) comprising Guwahati and adjoining areas where people living in landslide-prone areas have been advised to shift to safer places “till the monsoon season is over for their own safety”.

The Raj Bhavan was among the landslide-affected spots in Guwahati. Personnel of the National Disaster Response Force and other agencies have been deployed after a part of the complex caved in.

There are 18 hills within Guwahati and its outskirts and many houses reportedly do not conform to building guidelines.

“Two people drowned in Goalpara district, taking the death toll to 39. Of these, 18 were washed away and 21 were killed in landslides,” a spokesperson of the Assam Disaster Management Authority said.

According to the ASDMA’s update, the number of flood-affected people across 1,289 villages almost doubled overnight to reach 4,62,777 by Saturday evening.

District officials have evacuated 261 people in vulnerable areas as the Brahmaputra and six of its tributaries flowed above the danger mark. The Brahmaputra, in particular, has swollen at several stretches. Dhemaji continued to be the worst affected district with 99,116 people affected, followed by Tinsukia, Nalbari, Goalpara and Barpeta, the data showed.

OIL ops abandoned

Apart from seven critical embankments having been breached and at least 250 km of road damaged in 17 districts, the floods have either washed away or damaged seven bridges in four districts. These do not include two on as many access roads to the blowout-hit natural gas well of Oil India Limited in eastern Assam’s Tinsukia district.

“All operations at the Baghjan blowout site were called off . The area is completely inundated,” an OIL spokesperson said.

Floodwaters have entered the Kaziranga National Park, inundating 78 of 183 anti-poaching camps in the one-horned rhino habitat. Two of the camps have been vacated. Park officials, however, said the flooding is partial and below the level Kaziranga needs every year to flush out aquatic weeds and other wastes from its streams and wetlands.

“A rhino has died. Animals have started moving toward the Karbi Anglong hills, which is the natural route for them during floods,” Kaziranga’s director P. Sivakumar told The Hindu.

The park authorities have imposed speed restrictions with time cards on the highway. This has been done to prevent animals escaping the flooded part from being run over.

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Printable version | Jul 11, 2020 3:07:40 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/2-more-dead-462-lakh-hit-by-floods/article31935624.ece

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