Assam flood situation improves, 16.55L still in distress
Guwahati, July 29 (IANS) Even as three more persons died in Kokrajhar, Kamrup and Barpeta districts of Assam on Wednesday raising the death toll to 107, the overall flood situation continues to improve in the state, officials said.
Respite in the monsoon rains during the past one week has made the flood situation improve slightly and officials of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) hoped that in the coming days it would improve further.
Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) officials said that, 16.55 lakh people in 1,536 villages across 21 of the state's 33 districts are still affected by flood, though the number has come down since Friday when over 28 lakh people in 2,543 villages of 26 districts were distressed.
A total of 92,900 hectares of crops are still flooded, but the area has dropped from 122,573 hectares as on July 24.
Quoting reports from the districts, the ASDMA officials said that four major rivers including the Brahmaputra, are in spate in many places in five districts, where both Brahmaputra and Jia Bharali are flowing over the danger levels.
Forest officials said that at least 142 wild animals have died due to the floods and 165 have been rescued, even as over 65 per cent of the 884 sq km Kaziranga National Park remains inundated.
The animals that have died in the annual monsoon flood include 15 rhinos, 104 hog deer, eleven wild boars, five wild buffaloes, three porcupines and two swamp deer.
The officials said that besides Kaziranga, located on the edge of the eastern Himalayan bio-diversity hotspots of Golaghat and Nagaon districts, the Manas, R.G. Orang and Tinsukia national parks, and the Pabitora and Tinsukia wildlife sanctuaries were also affected and many wild animals have perished.
ASDMA officials said that of the 16.55 lakh affected people, 13.40 lakh, are in the state's five western districts — Goalpara (419,300), Barpeta (186,344), Morigaon (263,480), Dhubri (221,597) and South Salmara (249,423).
The flood has so far claimed the lives of at least 107 persons, including women and children in 22 districts, while 26 others were killed in landslides since May 22.
The Brahmaputra river has been flowing above the danger mark in many places in Jorhat, Dhubri and Sonitpur and three other major rivers — Dhansiri, Jia Bharali and Kopili — are flowing above the danger mark in many places in three districts.