New Delhi: Devastating floods in Assam since June-end following heavy rains, almost an annual phenomenon, have affected about 70 lakh people in the state, which is the midst of tackling the pandemic with COVID-19 cases rising to 23,999 on Monday.
On Monday, Chief Minister Sarbanand Sonowal told the press that “over 70 lakh people have been affected due to Assam floods. People as well as animals are being rescued from the affected areas and being shifted to relief camps and safer locations”, adding that both the Central and state government were providing all kinds of assistance to the affected people.
So far, over 80 people have died as floods continue to ravage 24 out of the North Eastern states 33 districts.
According to Down to Earth magazine, the situation may get worse in the coming days in the region as the “intense spell” of rainfall may accentuate till July 21, affecting other States, such as Meghalaya, Sikkim and North Bengal.
According to a Central Water Commission (CWC) bulletin, most rivers in the state continue to be in spate. The Brahmaputra, Dhansiri, Jia Bharali, Kopili, Beki, Kusiyara and Sankosh flowed above the danger mark at several places, said a report in The Hindustan Times.
In an alert on Monday, CWC said that the Brahmaputra is expected to rise 18 cm more by Tuesday evening. The river had burst its banks two weeks ago, swamping more than 2,500 villages.
Goalpara is the worst-hit district with over 4.53 lakh people affected, followed by 3.44 lakh in Barpeta and 3.41 lakh in Morigaon. Over 50,000 people displaced by floods have taken shelter at 521 relief camps.
According to reports, wildlife is also facing a serious threat in Assam as the Kaziranga National Park is totally flooded. The park, a UNESCO heritage site, has the largest concentration of single-horned 2,500 rhinoceros as well as other animals.
“Nine rhinos have drowned and over 100 other animals have been killed,” Assam’s agriculture minister Atul Bora told the media recently. Sixty other animals (36 hog deer, eight rhinos, three wild buffalo, one python, seven wild boar, two swamp deer, one Sambar and two porcupines) have so far died due to drowning, according to state government.