Other States

Heavy rains hit five Assam districts, 30,000 affected

Flood adds to COVID-19 woes as total positive cases cross 500 mark

Heavy rainfall has affected more than 30,000 people in five districts of Assam, battling flood along with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Officials of the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) said people began trooping into two relief centres in Goalpara district on Monday even as the State recorded 514 COVID-19 positive cases, up by 122 from the figure on Sunday night.

This is the highest single-day spike in Assam. The number expected to rise with the State having ramped up testing facilities.

“By 5 p.m. today [Monday], 30,701 people across 127 villages in five districts have been affected. The district officials are trying their best to make the people adhere to the pandemic protocols, but it is tough to do so in crisis situations,” an ASDMA spokesperson said.

Apart from Goalpara, other flood-hit districts are Darrang, Dhemaji, Dibrugarh and Lakhimpur.

Goalpara is the worst affected with 89 villages under two revenue circles inundated. Dhemaji and Darrang follow with 18 and 16 villages respectively.

A major worry for officials, particularly in eastern Assam, has been to insulate livestock from the African swine fever (ASF) that has killed more than 17,000 domestic pigs. The flood has affected 9,804 domestic animals so far in the five districts, three of which had reported ASF deaths.

Water level up

Officials said the water level of most rivers in the State, including the Brahmaputra, had increased in the past two days. The Jia Bharali river has been flowing above the danger level in Sonitpur district and the Puthimari in Kamrup district.

Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said the district administrations had been instructed to set up special units to carry out rescue and relief efforts in flood-affected areas. Officials had also been told to speed up work on shelter homes in flood-prone areas.

Only 8 flights

Meanwhile, Airports Authority of India (AAI) officials said they could operate only eight flights instead of 23 scheduled on the first day of resumption of air services since the lockdown.

“We used to operate 145 arrivals and departures before the pandemic struck. We could not operate many flights as most domestic flights from Guwahati have connectivity with West Bengal, where cyclone Amphan affected air services,” an AAI spokesperson said.

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Printable version | Jul 4, 2020 10:46:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/heavy-rains-hit-five-assam-districts-30000-affected/article31673971.ece

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