RANJU DODUM | 27 JULY, 2019
Over 85 Flood Deaths in Assam, Arunachal and Mizoram, Extensive Damage
About 1.6 lakh people are sheltering in relief camps
ITANAGAR: The annual floods in Assam continue to affect life in the state where a section of residents are also grappling with the fact that they may soon be without land or a nationality, as the deadline for the publication of the National Register of Citizens draws close.
The latest figures released by the state government paints a grim picture with over 27 lakh people still affected by flood waters across 17 districts in the state.
Flood report data released by the Assam State Disaster Management Authority on Friday reveal that 1,58,896 people are living in 929 relief camps that have been set up in the state. They record that five people died indirectly or directly from the flood, in the districts of Baksa, Barpeta, Cachar, and Bishwanath. This means that the death toll from the flood in Assam is now at least at 80.
Although rain trends seem to be on the decline, and rescue operations are on and relief materials are being distributed, matters became worse on Thursday when excess water was released from the Kuricchu hydropower plant in Bhutan. Assam being downstream, water levels soon rose, with Barpeta district worst hit.
The flooding and the resultant deaths, which have become an annual feature, have also affected animal life in the state. A report of flood damages from Kaziranga National Park, home to the one-horned rhinoceros, revealed that between July 13 and Friday last 215 animals had died, 182 of them directly from drowning.
The animals that died from the flood and related dangers including disease are 19 rhinos, one elephant, seven swamp deer, 12 sambars and over 140 hog deer.
The heavy monsoon showers have also caused extensive damage and human casualty in Assam’s neighbouring states of Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram.
Infrastructure has taken a major hit across Arunachal Pradesh with road communication links being adversely affected. Even electrical supply lines have been hit in the eastern part of the state. Three people, including two girls, have died.
In Mizoram as well infrastructure has taken a major hit. Among the buildings that were damaged was a shelter for the homeless that completely collapsed. At least two people have died in Mizoram.