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Army teams lead flood rescue in Assam

A man holds a child as he wades through flood waters in Kamrup district of lower Assam on June 19, 2022.

A man holds a child as he wades through flood waters in Kamrup district of lower Assam on June 19, 2022. | Photo Credit: Ritu Raj Konwar

Disasters are often a test of character, as Captain Rupam Das showed on a day floods and landslides killed nine people, including three minors, in Assam.

The young officer had the option of attending to his marooned family at Pathsala in western Assam’s Bajali district. But on Sunday, he chose to lead an Indian Army column in an operation to rescue scores of villagers in the flooded Sathikuchi village, about 30 km east in the adjoining Nalbari district.

Another Army team helped evacuate a cancer patient in her 40s, stuck at her flooded home in Kamrup district’s Palepara vilage for three days, and sent her to an advanced healthcare centre in Guwahati. Three people in their 90s were also evacuated to safety from Kadamtola and Holapara village in Baksa district.

“Such inspiring acts manifest exceptional human values and strong military grooming,” Defence spokesperson, Lt. Col. Angom Bobin Singh said, adding that 14 composite columns rescued 4,500 stranded people besides ensuring timely supply of essentials to the relief camps.

Officials of the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) said six people drowned and three were buried alive in landslides across the State during the last 24 hours.

Watch | Why does Assam flood every year?

A few landslides were also reported from Arunachal Pradesh on Sunday. One of them at Sood village near State capital Itanagar killed a 16-year-old boy on his way to a boxing selection trial.

“So far, 342.28 lakh people of 5,137 villages across 33 districts have been affected in the second wave of floods and 186,424 people have taken shelter across 1,147 relief camps. Till now, 107,370.43 hectares of cropland have been damaged,” an ASDMA spokesperson said.

The flood data provided by ASDMA on Sunday was minus the inputs from Darrang, Karimganj and Tamulpur districts that were experiencing power and internet connectivity issues.

Officials in Kaziranga National Park said about 15% of the rhino habitat has been submerged with 44 of the 223 anti-poaching camps inundated. While no animal has drowned, a leopard and four hog deer died after they were hit by vehicles on the highway skirting the southern boundary of the park.

Floods and landslides have killed 109 people across three northeastern States since April. While 71 died in Assam, 18 of them in landslides, 32 people died in Meghalaya and six in Arunachal Pradesh.

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Printable version | Aug 8, 2022 7:47:51 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/soldier-heads-assam-flood-rescue-operations-near-marooned-home/article65543391.ece