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Three Northeast states reel under floods, Assam worst hit with 87 deaths

The latest casualties were reported from Nagaon and Morigaon districts of Central Assam. Combined with 26 deaths in the rain-triggered landslides earlier, 113 people died so far.

Published: 22nd July 2020 02:12 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd July 2020 09:51 AM   |  A+A-

The water level of Brahmaputra River rises to the base of the 1671 Saraighat memorial as the river swells due to incessant rains at Machkhowa in Guwahati Tuesday July 21 2020. (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

GUWAHATI: Two more people died in the floods in Assam on Tuesday where the toll swelled to 87 while the situation was no better in Arunchal Pradesh and Meghalaya.

The latest casualties were reported from Nagaon and Morigaon districts of Central Assam. Combined with 26 deaths in the rain-triggered landslides earlier, 113 people died so far.

According to the Assam State Disaster Management Authority, over 24.19 lakh people from 2,323 villages and localities across 24 districts are  reeling under the flood. Cropland affected was in areas of over 1.10 lakh hectares. 

Altogether 397 relief camps in 16 districts were still operational where 44,498 of the marooned were taking shelter. The State Disaster Response Force, police and locals were engaged in rescue operations.

Major rivers such as Brahmaputra, Dhansiri, Jia Bharali, Kopili, Gaurang, Kushiyara and Sankosh were flowing above the danger level at several places.

The Siang in Arunachal, which along with two other rivers flow down to Assam and form the Brahmaputra, was also in a spate. At Kaziranga National Park, 116 animals, including 11 rhinos, have perished so far due to various reasons including drowning and vehicle hits. 

The Garo Hills region of Meghalaya is also battling a flood. According to official sources, five people lost their lives there while an estimated one lakh others were affected.

In a telephonic conversation with Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, Union Home Minister Amit Shah took stock of the situation and assured him of all possible support to the state from the Centre.

NDRF has positioned 122 teams across the country to tackle the flood and heavy rain situation during the ongoing monsoon season, a force spokesperson said on Tuesday.

He said 85 rescue and relief teams have been pre-positioned in "vulnerable" states and all its 12 battalions across the country have been alerted and asked to be prepared to tackle any flood situation caused by heavy rains.

He said these teams are positioned in 20 states with a maximum of 19 in Bihar, followed by 12 in Assam, the two states facing flood situation.

Nine teams have been deployed in Gujarat, seven in Maharashtra, six teams each in Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, four in Karnataka and three each in Kerala, Punjab and Uttarakhand.

Besides, one team each has been deployed in Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Manipur, Rajasthan, Sikkim and Tripura; two each in Arunachal Pradesh, Delhi and Jammu and Kashmir, he said.

Apart from this, 37 teams are permanently stationed in 23 states at the regional response centers (RRCs) of the NDRF.

"A total of 122 self-contained teams of NDRF comprising trained responders like doctors, divers, paramedics and engineers have been deployed for rains and flood rescue task."

"They are equipped with adequate boats and other flood rescue and life-saving equipment and they are on the alert to deal with any eventuality," the spokesperson said.

The composition of these teams is not uniform and the number of rescuers ranges from 25-45.

The force, the spokesperson said, is in constant touch with various state governments to chalk out combat strategies.

Meanwhile, the United Nations on Tuesday offered to extend support to India. The offer was made by Stephane Dujarric, the spokesperson of the UN Secretary-General, at a daily press briefing

(With PTI Inputs)

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