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Assam flood situation improves as rains let up

Guwahati, July 28 (IANS) The overall flood situation in Assam further improved on Tuesday, even as one more person died in Golaghat district, taking the death toll to 104, officials said.

Officials of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said that with the respite in the monsoon rains, the situation would improve further in the coming days.

According to the officials of Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), 20 lakh people in 1,771 villages across 21 of the state’s 33 districts still remained distressed, though the number has dropped since Friday when over 28 lakh people in 2,543 villages of 26 districts were affected.

A total of 103,609 hectares of crops are still flooded, but the area has come down from 122,573 hectares as on July 24.

ASDMA officials said that four major rivers flowing down from neighbouring Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya, including the Brahmaputra, are in a state of spate in six districts.

Forest officials also said that at least 137 wild animals have died due to the floods and 163 have been rescued, even as over 75 per cent of the 884 sq km Kaziranga National Park remains inundated. The animals that have died in the annual monsoon flood include 14 rhinos, 101 hog deer, ten wild boars, five wild buffaloes, three porcupines and two swamp deer.

The officials said that besides Kaziranga, located on edge of the eastern Himalayan biodiversity hotspots of Golaghat and Nagaon districts, the Manas, R.G. Orang and Tinsukia national parks, and the Pabitora and Tinsukia wildlife sanctuaries were also affected and many wild animals have perished.

ASDMA officials said that of the affected people, three-fourths, or 15 lakh, are in the state’s five western districts — Goalpara (444,842), Barpeta (306,778), Morigaon (271,763), Dhubri (222,868) and South Salmara (249,423).

In the over month long flood, at least 104 persons, including women and children have died so far in 22 districts, while 26 others were killed in landslides since May 22.

The Brahmaputra river has been flowing above the danger in many places in Jorhat, Dhubri, Goalpara and Sonitpur and three other major rivers — Dhansiri, Jia Bharali and Kopili — are flowing above the danger mark in many places in three districts.

The district administrations have set up around 400 relief camps and distribution centres in 21 districts, where around 42,300 flood-hit people have sheltered.

Besides erosion of river banks at a large number of places, roads, embankments, bridges, culverts and other infrastructure were damaged at many locations in 21 districts, the officials said, adding that hundreds of houses were fully or partially damaged due to the floods.

A total of 16 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams and many teams of the State Disaster Response Force, along with the district and local administration, are working to rescue the affected people and render relief services, including distribution of necessary materials to the marooned villagers.




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