Assam flood situation worsens; one dies, 5.74 lakh affected in 18 districts


Guwahati:  The flood situation in Assam deteriorated on Tuesday with one more person losing life taking the death toll to three and nearly 5.74 lakh people suffering from the flood in 18 districts, according to an official bulletin.

A child drowned at Bhuragaon circle in Morigaon district, the daily flood report of the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) said.

ASDMA said more than 5,73,900 people are affected by the flood in 18 districts. Nalbari is the worst-hit district with more than 1.1 lakh people suffering, followed by Darrang with over 1.09 lakh people and Lakhimpur having 1.08 lakh people being affected.

Till Monday, over 3.63 lakh people were affected by the deluge across 17 districts in the state.

At present, 1,278 villages are underwater and 39,831.91 hectares of crop areas have been damaged across Assam, ASDMA said.

The authorities are running 105 relief camps and distribution centres in 14 districts, where 4,009 people, including 680 children, have taken shelter.

The bulletin stated that various relief agencies have evacuated 1,018 people.

The affected 18 districts are Barpeta, Biswanath, Chirang, Darrang, Dhemaji, Dibrugarh, Golaghat, Jorhat, Kamrup, Kamrup Metropolitan, Lakhimpur, Majuli, Morigaon, Nagaon, Nalbari, Sivasagar, Sonitpur and Tinsukia.

Massive erosions have been witnessed in districts such as Baksa, Biswanath, Bongaigaon, Dibrugarh, Kamrup and Kokrajhar, while

embankments, roads, bridges and other infrastructure have been damaged by floodwaters in Sivasagar, Barpeta, Cachar, Golaghat, Majuli, Morigaon, Nagaon and Lakhimpur districts, ASDMA said.

A total of 3,53,998 domestic animals and poultry have been affected in the deluge across 16 districts, it added.

Meanwhile, the Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve authorities said 70 per cent of the forest has been submerged by floodwaters of the Brahmaputra. Out of the Park”s 223 camps, 153 are inundated.

Due to the flood and related incidents, seven hog deer and two swamp deer have died so far, while a rhino calf was rescued on Tuesday and the animal is being taken care of at the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC).

According to a report issued by the Central Water Commission, the Brahmaputra is flowing in “above normal to severe flood situations” in Dibrugarh, Jorhat, Sonitpur, Goalpara, Kamrup and Dhubri districts.

“Tributaries of Brahmaputra, namely Beki in Barpeta, Jia Bharali in Sonitpur, Dikhow in Sivasagar, Sankosh in Dhubri and Puthimari in Kamrup districts are flowing in above normal to severe flood situations,” it said.

Meanwhile, the forest department in a statement on Tuesday said three abandoned horses, and not feral horses as reported earlier, had died after being swept away by floodwater in Dhemaji division.

Feral horses are free-roaming animals of domesticated stock and a section of them live in the wild.

“The horses that died due to flood are believed to have been abandoned by their owners due to non-use during the COVID situation,” it said.

On August 29, a forest department official had said at least three feral horses have died in the deluge-hit Dibru-Saikhowa National Park, almost 70 per cent of which has been under water, forcing animals to flee to highlands.

The statement said there was no incident of death of feral horses within the jurisdiction of the Dibru-Saikhowa National Park.

Soumyadeep Datta, a noted environmentalist, however, said it is nearly impossible to differentiate a feral horse from a domestic one.

The Dibru-Saikhowa National Park is spread across Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts in Upper Assam, and is designated as a biosphere reserve that houses many endangered species.