Severe Flooding in India’s Assam State Kills 74

Assam – a North Eastern state of India, is currently facing its worst natural catastrophe. The state is one of India’s cyclic hotspots that are severely affected by the torrential rains, causing extreme floods and landslides.

 

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As of July 13th, 74 people have reportedly lost their lives due to the deluge, of which 48 died to the floods and 26 in landslides. According to the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), the figures of flood-affected people have doubled from 600k (6 lakhs) to more than 1.2 million (12 lakhs) in the last twenty-four hours. ASDMA reports that 2,015 villages and localities across 24 of the state’s 33 districts are submerged underwater. Some 82,546 hectares (203975 acres) of standing crops and 4,24,127 animals (including poultry) have been destroyed by the wave of flood.

The floods breached river embankments and damaged bridges and roads in some districts. The river Brahmaputra, one of the world’s largest rivers flowing from Tibet into India, and its tributaries are flowing above the danger level. ‘The river Brahmaputra this morning (July 13) was flowing 80 centimeters above danger level in Guwahati posing a threat of inundation in the low-lying areas in and around the city,’ reported Central Water Commission. The Advisory added, ‘the situation is likely to remain in Severe Flood Situation for some more time and then stabilize. As the rainfall is likely to reduce from 13th onwards, there will be a slow fall in the river thereafter.’

The district government has authorized 224 relief camps in 16 districts where over 21 thousand are taking shelter. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) have carried out rescue operations in extreme flood-affected districts. They are rescuing people of all ages, from infants to elders. The teams are distributing masks, maintaining social distancing, and conducting thermal screenings of each and every person rescued for any COVID symptoms, reports said.

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Officials ensure that social distancing norms are followed in the school-turned-relief camps. “Every district has identified where the camps can be set up and how many people will there be in every camp. This time, space is three times than it usually is,” said CEO of ASDMA.

Meanwhile, 90% of Assam’s Kaziranga National Park and 80% of Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary is underwater. Forty-seven animals in Kaziranga National Park have died so far due to the floods, which includes one rhino, forty-one hog deer and three wild boars. Many animals have taken shelter in highlands constructed inside the park. Whereas in Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, twelve of the twenty-four anti-poaching campuses are reeling with floodwater. Officials said, “the sanctuary has been affected by floods for the third time within two months.” One rhino drowned in floodwaters during the second wave of flood.

The speed limit of all the vehicles on National Highway 37, which passes through the national park, is restricted by the park authorities and district administration. Yet, many animals escaping the water were injured or killed by speeding vehicles. “Until now, 18 animals have been found dead and 13 have been killed by speeding vehicles on the highway,” according to park authorities.

Children use a makeshift boat to cross the flood-affected area

Children use a makeshift boat to cross the flood-affected area at Mayong Village, in Morigaon.

This year witnessed early inception in Assam’s annual natural adversities due to Cyclone Amphan. It deteriorated when Bhutan released over 2700 cumecs of excess water from the Kurichu dam, deluding lower Assam districts like Barpeta and Nalbari.

 

 

 

 

Featured Image Via Canva

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A Mass Media graduate from Mumbai University with a freelance background in Content Writing and Photography. Currently working as a Writer at The Ticket Fairy. (She/Her)

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