Assam floods: 15 dead, lakhs affected; state on red alert
As many as 30 out of Assam's 33 districts have been affected by floods, prompting the state government to sound a red alert on Monday. Reportedly, 15 people have lost their lives so far, and nearly 43 lakh have been affected. Prime Minister Narendra Modi dialed Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal to take stock of the situation. Here's the ground report.
Barpeta is worst-affected district, Guwahati at risk too
As rain continued to wreak havoc, districts like Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Biswanath, Sonitpur, Darrang, Udalguri, Baksa, Barpeta, Nalbari, Chirang, Bongaigaon and Kokrajhar, were submerged. Barpeta became the worst-hit district with as many as 7.35 lakh becoming victims of monsoon mayhem. The situation in Goalpara, Morigaon, Nagaon, and Hailakandi districts is also extremely critical. Parts of state capital Guwahati are also at risk of being submerged.
Brahmaputra is rising menacingly above danger levels
Further, the rising level of Brahmaputra river has raised concerns. Last night, water in the river was flowing at 1.5 cm above danger level and was increasing at 2-3 cm per hour, an official told ANI. 4,157 villages have been affected, and 83,000 people have been shifted to 183 relief centers. However, since connectivity to upper Assam has been cut off, woes aren't ending.
Kaziranga National Park has been submerged, animals struggling to survive
Unfortunately, the incessant rainfall has also spelled trouble for animals. According to officials, 95% of Kaziranga National Park, famous for being the habitat of the one-horned rhino, has been submerged. In the last couple of days, 17 animals died, and several others struggled to save themselves from drowning. Separately, 70% Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, situated in Morigaon district, has also been inundated.
NDRF teams have been pressed to service
The downpour also flooded nearly 90,000 hectares of agricultural land, including those which had standing crops. To deal with the menace, 15 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams, including 380 personnel, have been deployed. Flood control mechanisms, including control rooms, are working round the clock, CM Sonowal said. Further, veterinary and animal husbandry department has been directed to rescue animals.
Meanwhile, PM Modi told Sonowal Centre will help Assam
On Monday, PM Modi spoke to CM Sonowal over the phone and the latter apprised him about the condition. In a statement, the Chief Minister's Office said PM Modi has assured all help to the state government to tackle the worsening situation.
Assam needs you: Here's how you can help the state
Like Assam, Bihar is also reeling under flood
Not only Assam, but Bihar is also facing the brunt of monsoon. 26 lakh people living in 12 districts have reportedly been affected by floods. Till now, 24 people have died, with the maximum number of deaths being reported from Sitamarhi district. 12 lakh people in Sitamarhi and 8.85 lakh people in Araria are reeling under the flood. Saharsa, Katihar, and Purnia were also affected.
Community kitchens are providing food to victims of nature's fury
Notably, the rivers which are dangerously overflowing are Baghmati, Kamla Balan, Lalbakeya, Adhwara, and Mahananda. As per reports, 1,06,953 people have taken shelter in 196 relief camps. Further, a disaster management department (DMD) official told TOI that 644 community kitchens are working to provide food to flood-affected victims. On Sunday, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar conducted an aerial survey of rain-ravaged areas.