Assam floods: 4 more deaths take toll to 18
As the floodwater entered new areas in Assam, four more deaths were reported on Saturday, taking the total death toll to 18. As per the latest data, the total number of flood-affected districts stands at 31, affecting 6,80,118 people in the state. According to the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), Nagaon was the worst-affected district with 3.39 lakh people reeling under floods.
- While floods are normal in Assam during the monsoon months, they seem to have arrived early this year.
- Assam has been witnessing rainfall since mid-April. However, the situation has intensified considerably in the last week, influenced by the presence of Cyclone Asani in the Bay of Bengal.
- Meanwhile, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has also predicted that more rainfall is likely in the region.
The Indian Army, paramilitary forces, and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have reportedly evacuated 21,884 people from various flood-hit areas in Assam using boats and helicopters. A total of 74,907 flood victims have sought refuge in 282 relief camps as of now, while another 214 rescue distribution centers are operational, India Today reported. Meanwhile, flood survivors asserted the authorities were not distributing rations legitimately.
According to Indian Railways' Northeast Frontier Railway's recent statement, 11 pairs of trains were suspended and five pairs of trains were short-terminated or short-originated due to flooding and landslides at several locations in Assam's Lumding-Badarpur hill section.
The National Highway Authority of India officials assured Chief Secretary Jishnu Barua at a review meeting that the section of the road between Jatinga and Harangajao in the district of Dima Hasao would be restored within a week. Meanwhile, an additional sum of Rs. 3 crore has been allocated to the Hojai district for providing free relief to the affected people, said the ASDMA.
Floods and landslides have also taken a heavy toll on Assam's connectivity, cutting off the essential train and road connections in several parts of the state and region. Embankments, roads, bridges, and other infrastructure have been damaged by the floodwaters in Biswanath, Barpeta, Goalpara, Nagaon, Nalbari, Tamulpur, Bajali, Cachar, Darrang, Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Morigaon, Sonitpur, Udalguri, Dibrugarh, and Kamrup, said the ASDMA.
Floods in Assam have also forced more than 500 families to live on the railway tracks with little support from the government. The majority of these families are from Changjurai and Patia Pathar villages in the flood-ravaged Jamunamukh district, where they now live under tarpaulin sheets. Notably, the tracks were the only high ground left that had not been swamped by floodwaters so far.
Villagers recently said the administration hasn't provided much assistance in the last five-six days. They claimed to have lived in the open sky for three days and borrowed money to purchase a tarpaulin sheet. "We are five families living under the same sheet," said Monwara Begum. Sunanda Doloi, another survivor, said the government failed to provide them with safe drinking water and rations, too.