GUWAHATI: Five more people perished on Thursday as Assam continues to battle a devastating flood.
The deaths occurred in Lakhimpur (one), Barpeta (one), Goalpara (one) and Morigaon (two) districts.
With these, the death toll rose to 71. Twenty-six others had lost their lives in landslides earlier.
According to the Assam State Disaster Management Authority, 39,79,563 people in 3,218 villages and localities across 27 districts are affected. Standing crop is affected in areas of 1,31,368 hectares.
The floodwater breached a number of river embankments and damaged bridges and roads across the state. Major rivers such as Brahmaputra, Dhansiri, Jia Bharali, Kopili, Beki and Kushiyara were flowing above the danger level.
Authorities set up 748 relief camps in 24 districts where 49,313 people were taking shelter.
ASDMA said around 40 lakh people are hit due to floods in Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Biswanath, Sonitpur, Darrang, Baksa, Nalbari, Barpeta, Chirang, Bongaigaon, Kokrajhar, Dhubri, South Salmara, Goalpara, Kamrup, Kamrup Metropolitan, Morigaon, Nagaon, Hojai, Golaghat, Jorhat, Majuli, Sivasagar, Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Karbi Anglong and West Karbi Anglong districts.
Dhubri is the worst hit with over 8.72 lakh people affected, followed by Barpeta with more than 4.78 lakh people and Goalpara with around 4.28 lakh population.
The SDRF, district administrations and local people have rescued 2,737 people during the last 24 hours by deploying 113 boats across the state.
Till Wednesday, more than 35.74 lakh people were hit by the deluge across 26 districts.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal visited the submerged areas of the Kaziranga National Park via Mora Difalu river under Bagori Range and took stock of the animals there.
He also went to flood-affected forest camps at Gorakati, Mora Difalu and Mur Phuloni and interacted with forest guards, who are carrying out strict surveillance in the park.
In view of many animals crossing over to the hills of Karbi Anglong district during floods, Sonowal directed the administration to take all necessary measures to ensure their protection and safe return once flood water recedes.
The state government has made all efforts to provide relief to the flood-affected families and social distancing norms have been followed at the relief camps to prevent infection of COVID-19, he told reporters.
Sonowal also visited the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC) at Barjuri near the Kaziranga National Park and took stock of measures taken for animals and facilities available at the centre.
The ASDMA bulletin said 105 camps out of 223 at the Kaziranga National Park and 24 out of 25 camps at the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary have been affected by the deluge.
The inundation has so far claimed the lives of 76 animals, while 121 others have been rescued in the Kaziranga National Park, the bulletin said.
At present, 3,218 villages are under water and 1,31,368.27 hectares of crop areas have been damaged across Assam, ASDMA said.
Authorities are running 748 relief camps and distribution centres across 24 districts, where 49,313 people are taking shelter currently, the bulletin said.
The authorities have distributed a total of 17,540.8 quintals of rice, dal and salt, and 32,581.27 litres of mustard oil along with other relief material such as tarpaulin, baby food, candles, match boxes, mosquito nets, biscuits, soaps, drinking water, cattle feed, masks and wheat bran.
The Brahmaputra is flowing above the danger mark at Guwahati, Dhubri and Goalpara cities, besides at Nimatighat in Jorhat and Tezpur in Sonitpur districts, while Barak is above the red mark at AP Ghat in Cachar and Badarpurghat in Karimganj.
Its tributaries Dhansiri at Numaligarh in Golaghat, Jia Bharali at NT Road Crossing in Sonitpur, Kopili at Kampur and Dharamtul in Nagaon, Beki at Road Bridge in Barpeta and Kushiyara at Karimganj town are also flowing above the danger level.
Embankments, roads, bridges, culverts and many other infrastructure have been damaged at various places in Biswanath, Darrang, Jorhat, Lakhimpur, Chirang, Bongaigaon, Kokrajhar, Barpeta, Udalguri, Dhubri, Morigaon, Sivasagar and Nagaon districts.
Massive erosions have been witnessed at different places of Bongaigaon and Udalguri districts, ASDMA said.
The deluge has also affected 33,76,436 domestic animals and poultry across the state during the last 24 hours, it added.
(With PTI Inputs)