Death toll mounts as flood situation in Northeast remains grim

Prime Minister Narendra Modi calls Assam Chief Minister to take stock of the situation

June 18, 2022 10:23 pm | Updated June 19, 2022 08:26 am IST - GUWAHATI:

Indian Army soldiers evacuate people from flooded area to a safer place after heavy rains at a village in Hojai district, in Assam, on June 18, 2022.

Indian Army soldiers evacuate people from flooded area to a safer place after heavy rains at a village in Hojai district, in Assam, on June 18, 2022. | Photo Credit: REUTERS


The flood situation in Assam and Meghalaya continues to remain grim with no signs of a let-up in the rainfall.

The Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) said that more than 31 lakh people have been affected across 32 districts in the State. Eight people drowned or were washed away on Saturday, taking the death total to 62 since April with landslides claiming the lives of 11 of them while 19 people have been reported missing over the last 36 hours.

The 1,206.7 mm rainfall the State has received till June 16 has affected 1,59,441.84 hectares of crops.

The Northeast Frontier Railway cancelled a number of trains since June 16 as the tracks were inundated at several places.

The severity of the disaster made Prime Minister Narendra Modi call up Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma to take stock of the situation. “Earlier today, spoke to Assam CM Shri @himantabiswa and took stock of the situation due to floods in the State. Assured all possible support from the Centre. I pray for the safety and well-being of the people of Assam affected by flooding,” Mr. Modi said in a tweet.

Mr. Sarma appreciated the Prime Minister for checking on the relief and rehabilitation work in the flood-hit areas of Assam.

Closely monitoring the situation

“We are closely monitoring the situation and providing the best help to people,” he said after touring western Assam’s Nalbari district, one of the worst affected areas, where the Army had to be engaged in rescue operations.

The Chief Minister also visited a few relief camps in the district. The district authorities have set up 816 relief camps where 1.56 lakh people have taken shelter.

On Friday night, three children were reported missing when a boat capsised in central Assam’s Hojai district while 21 others were rescued. The incident happened when the people were moving to a safer location.

The ASDMA officials said a few cases of landslides were reported from Dima Hasao, Goalpara, Morigaon, Kamrup and Kamrup (Metro) districts in the last 24 hours. They also said at least 10 rivers, including the Brahmaputra, were flowing above the danger level in many stretches.

Officials said that the flood situation was accentuated in districts such as Nalbari, Baksa and Udalguri due to the release of high volumes of water from the Kurichhu dam in Bhutan upstream. The authorities in Kamrup and Kamrup (Metro) districts anticipate a similar situation after the authorities in Meghalaya intimated them about the impending release of water from the Umtru hydroelectric project.

The situation in Meghalaya also continued to deteriorate with one more death reported in South West Khasi Hills, taking the death toll in the State to 32 since April.

So far, at least 99 people have died in floods and landslides across Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Meghalaya.

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