GUWAHATI: Five people died in flood-hit Assam on Wednesday, taking the total death toll to 45. As of Wednesday evening, more than 17 lakh people living in 24 districts of Assam were affected by nature’s fury and the situation was reportedly worsening.
Forty five people have lost their lives since the first wave of flood hit Assam in June.
The mighty Brahmaputra river and its tributaries have submerged 2,500 villages, destroyed 1.06 lakh hectares of crop-land, damaged infrastructure by breaching the embankments and overrunning roads and bridges, thereby disrupting surface communication, said the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA).
However, dispelling claims that New Delhi is ignoring Assam, chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal claimed that the Central government was aware of the situation.
“The Prime Minister called me up to take stock of the situation and has been in constant touch since. The home minister has also been in touch with me. Tomorrow, Kiren Rijiju (Union minister of state for home) is visiting the state. So, it is wrong to say that Assam is being ignored,” Sonowal told reporters after visiting the Kaziranga National Park on Wednesday.
He said Assam has sufficient funds to tackle the situation, and if need be, funds would be allocated from New Delhi.
The government has set up 234 relief camps sheltering 31,456 people displaced by the floods.
Altogether 10 rivers, including the mighty Brahmaputra, were flowing above danger level.
The flood waters have destroyed an estimated 1,05,860 hectares of crop land.
The 434-sq km Kaziranga National Park was badly hit. Officials said, over 70 per cent of the park has been inundated, forcing the animals to flee to highlands within the park as well as to the neighbouring Karbi Anglong district.
According to park director Satyendra Prasad Singh, the park has 111 highlands while efforts were on to come up with another 33. “Normally, the height of a highland is 16 feet, But due to flood and erosion, their height has gotten reduced to around 10 feet,” he said.
At least nine persons, including three in state capital Guwahati, were killed in flash flood-induced electrocution in the last one month.