Northeast cut off from country in worst flood in three decades

The second wave of the year’s flood, which the authorities said is the most devastating since the deluge of 1988, has hit rail and road traffic cutting essential supplies.

Published: 15th August 2017 08:10 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th August 2017 08:10 AM   |  A+A-

Assam Floods: Due to heavy rains, the tributaries of the river Brahmaputra overflowed causing floods in Assam. The flood affected over 17 lakh people and also the animals in the National parks. (Picture| AP)

Express News Service

GUWAHATI: In the worst flood in three decades in the Northeast, four per cent of India’s population and about seven per cent of its total area were cut off from the mainland.

The second wave of the year’s flood in Assam, which the authorities concluded is the most devastating since the one in 1988, disrupted railway and road traffic, thereby affecting supplies.

Three more people died – two in Morigaon and one in Golaghat districts – since Sunday evening, taking the death toll in the fresh flood in Assam to 18. The Brahmaputra and some of its tributaries were in a spate, flowing above the danger mark at several places.

According to official sources, 31.59 lakh people have been affected in 3,192 villages of 25 of the state’s 32 districts. Cropland affected has been in areas of 1.79 lakh hectares. The authorities set up 556 relief camps in 21 districts where over two lakh displaced people were lodged.

The swirling flood waters breached embankments and damaged roads, culverts and bridges in a number of districts. The National Disaster Response Force and the State Disaster Response Force were engaged in the rescue and relief operations.

The railway board has announced cancellation of all incoming trains from various parts of the country to the Northeast. Trains are now plying between Siliguri and New Jalpaiguri in West Bengal to Assam. The Northeast Frontier Railways (NFR) said trains originating from various parts of the country were halted at Kathiar in Bihar. Similarly, trains originating from Assam are travelling up to Siliguri and New Jalpaiguri. Within Assam, the trains are, however, running as usual.

Supplies are not coming to Assam as the roads, which connect the state and the Northeast with rest of the country, are flooded in Bihar and West Bengal. The state’s disaster management authorities said the fresh flood was the worst since 1988.

In the first wave of the flood in the state in July, 25.42 lakh people were affected. Assam disaster management commissioner Ramesh Prasad said goods-laden trucks were stranded as the roads in Bihar were flooded.

“We have reviewed the situation. Assam has 10-14 days’ stocks of essential commodities. I had a discussion with my Bihar counterpart and I was told some roads and railway tracks there were under water. If the flood situation improves there, train services are likely to resume,” he added.

90% of Kaziranga National Park submerged

As the floods in Assam wreaked havoc in the Kaziranga National Park, a large number of the animals fled to highlands within the park and in adjoining areas falling under Golaghat and Nagaon districts. So far, the deaths of seven hog deer and one elephant were reported. A number of animals have been rescued, they said.

“Nearly 90 per cent of the park has been submerged. This is the biggest flood in the park since 1988. The water is receding but the level of it is still similar to what we had during last month’s flood,” Kaziranga park director, Satyendra Singh, told the New Indian Express.

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