Guwahati, Jul 19: While overall flood situation in Assam improved a bit on Sunday, five more people died in as many districts, raising the death toll due to the monsoon deluge in the state to 84, while around 25.30 lakh people in 24 of the 33 districts continue to be distressed.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday telephoned Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and took stock of flood, COVID-19 and Baghjan oil well fire (in Tinsukia district) situation in the state.
“Expressing his concern and solidarity with the people, the PM assured all support to the state,” Sonowal said in a tweet.
The Prime Minister enquired about the steps taken by the state government for the relief and rehabilitation of flood affected people and treatment of COVID-19 positive patients in the state. An official said that during the conversation, the Chief Minister apprised the Prime Minister that 24 districts had been affected by the current wave of flood and the state government had taken steps for providing shelter to the flood affected people in the relief camps set up for the purpose and strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols had been ensured in those relief camps.
Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) officials said that of the 25.30 lakh distressed people in 24 districts, around 17 lakh are in five districts — Goalpara (453,858), Barpeta (343,707), Morigaon (341,788), Dhubri (315,838) and South Sakmara (225,209).
Forest Department and ASDMA officials said that so far at least 108 animals were killed, and 134 animals rescued even as 95 per cent of the world-famous Kaziranga National Park, home to more than 2,200 one-horned Indian rhinoceros, remained flooded.
The officials said that due to over a month-long flood, 84 deaths were reported in Baksa, South Salmara, Darrang, Sonitpur, Biswanath, Tinsukia, Lakhimpur, Bongaigaon, Kamrup, Golaghat, Sivasagar, Morigaon, Dhubri, Nagaon, Nalbari, Barpeta, Dhemaji, Udalguri, Goalpara and Dibrugarh districts, while 26 others have been killed in separate landslides since May 22.
The ASDMA officials said that Dhansiri, Jia Bharali, Kopili, Beki, Sankosh, Kushiyara and the mighty Brahmaputra rivers are flowing above the danger mark in many places in nine districts. Over 2,400 villages and 112,140 hectares of crop area in 24 districts have been submerged due to the flood. The district administrations have set up 521 relief camps and distribution centres in 24 districts, where around 50,560 men, women and children have taken shelter.
Of the 24 districts across Assam, 12 districts — Dhubri, Goalpara, Barpeta, Morigaon, South Sakmara, Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Darrang, Nalbari, Kamrup (Rural), Nagaon, Golaghat — are the worst-hit. Besides erosion of river banks at a large number of places, roads, embankments, bridges, culverts and other infrastructure were damaged at many locations in 24 districts, the ASDMA officials said, adding that hundred of houses were fully or partially damaged due to the flood.
Around 19.8 lakh domesticated animals and over 13 lakh poultry birds were affected due to floodwater.
Besides Kaziranga National Park, located on the edge of the eastern Himalayan biodiversity hotspots of Golaghat and Nagaon districts, the Manas and R.G. Orang national parks, the Pabitora wildlife and the Tinsukia wildlife sanctuaries were also affected.