GUWAHATI: Four more people died in the first wave of the flood in Assam which affected over 13.16 lakh people.
The deaths on Monday occurred in Barpeta, Dibrugarh and Goalpara districts. With these, the death toll rose to 24. Twenty-three others were killed in landslides in Guwahati and Barak Valley.
According to the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), people in 2,404 villages and localities across 25 of the state’s 33 districts were affected.
All major rivers such as Brahmaputra, Burhi Dihing, Dhansiri, Jia Bharali, Kopili, Puthimari, Beki and Kushiyara were in a spate, flowing above danger level, the ASDMA said.
The floodwater breached river embankments and damaged bridges and roads. Cropland affected was in areas of 83,168 hectares.
The Upper Assam town of Dibrugarh has been under floodwater for the past four days. A number of villages in the district were also affected. At Guijan in neighbouring Tinsukia district, hundreds of families were shifted to safer locations as the swelling Dangori flooded the area.
The authorities set up 273 relief camps where 27,452 people were taking shelter. Over 10,200 of the marooned were rescued by the personnel of the State Disaster Response Force and locals.
The Kaziranga National Park and Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary were partially inundated. Of the 223 forest camps in Kaziranga, 146 were inundated by the flooded Brahmaputra which flows through the park. The situation forced animals such as rhinos, elephants, deer etc to move towards highland within the park as well as the hills in neighbouring Karbi Anglong.
So far, the park recorded the death of one rhino and three hog deer. The rhino died by drowning. The deer got killed in vehicle hits. A national highway passes beside the park. The flood last year had submerged the entire park.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah called up Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Sunday and took stock of the situation. He assured all possible help from the Centre.