Assam floods: 33 lakh people affected, 51 animals from Kaziranga killed

Parts of Meghalaya and Bihar, too, are severely affected by the heavy monsoon rains and subsequent flooding.
Assam floods: 33 lakh people affected, 51 animals from Kaziranga killed
Written by:

The flood situation in Assam is getting grim as at least nine more people have been killed on Tuesday. The new deaths caused by the floods were reported in five districts of Assam, taking the death toll in the state to 59. Out of the 33 districts, 28 are grappling with a grom situation as around 33 lakh people have been affected by the floods, said officials in the state.

Not just human beings, but many wild animals in the famous Kaziranga National Park, too, have been displaced and killed. The visuals of a tiger taking shelter in a goat shed in Kandolimari Village (Agartoli Range) and submerged in the flood water had gone viral on Tuesday.

Over 44,000 people in relief camps

More than eight rivers, including the mighty Brahmaputra, are flowing above the danger mark in many places in 12 districts.

The Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) officials quoting reports from the districts said that the floodwater has inundated 3,371 villages, affecting around 33 lakh people and 128,495 hectares of crop area in 28 districts.

Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) officials said that over the past four weeks, 59 deaths due to flood were reported from Biswanath, Tinsukia, Lakhimpur, Bongaigaon, Kamrup, Golaghat, Sivasagar, Morigaon, Tinsukia, Dhubri, Nagaon, Nalbari, Barpeta, Dhemaji, Udalguri, Goalpara and Dibrugarh districts. Around 26 others have been killed in separate landslides since May 22.

The officials said that the district administrations have set up 517 relief camps and distribution centres in 24 districts, where over 44,000 people have taken shelter.

The worst-affected 23 districts of Assam are Dhemaji, Udalguri, Darrang, Biswanath, Sonitpur, Baksa, Lakhimpur, Chirang, Barpeta, Bongaigaon, Kokrajhar, Dhubri, South Salmara, Goalpara, Kamrup, Golaghat, Jorhat, Sivasagar, Majuli, Dibrugarh, West Karbi Anglong, Karbi Anglong and Tinsukia.

Besides erosion of river banks at a large number of places, roads, embankments, bridges, culverts and other infrastructure have been damaged at many locations in 28 districts, the ASDMA officials said, adding that several hundred houses were fully or partially damaged due to the flood.

Flood in Kamrup district of Assam. Image: PTI

At least 20.11 lakh domesticated animals and over 14 lakh poultry were affected due to floodwater.

The National Disaster Response Force and State Disaster Response Force personnel, along with the local administration, are continuously working to rescue the affected people and render relief services, including distribution of necessary material to the marooned villagers.

Meanwhile, with a number of rivers in many northeastern states in spate due to continuous monsoon rain, many low-lying areas in other states in the region were inundated on Sunday, even as the India Meteorological Department forecast more rain in the next couple of days.

For emergency helplines, contact Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA). The numbers can be accessed here

Kaziranga Park flooded: 51 animals killed, 102 rescued

Flood in different parts of Assam inundated large swathes of land in Kaziranga National Park, a world heritage site, killing at least 51 wild animals though 102 animals have been rescued, officials said on Tuesday.

They said many tigers and rhinos had strayed into the nearby villages due to flooding of their habitats.

A tiger spotted in Nargaon district of Assam. Image: PTI

Officials of the Kaziranga National Park and the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) said 95% of the national park's 430 sq km area was now flooded, with traffic movement on the National Highway-37 near Kaziranga now suspended.

According to the officials, 45 hog deer, three wild boars and one rhino, one wild buffalo and a swamp deer perished in the floodwater. Of the rescued animals, 86 were hog deer.

A rhino being rescued in Assam. Image: PTI

Park Director P Sivakumar said that rising water level in the park areas had forced three sub-adult tigers to stray into a goat-shed in Kandolimari village and nearby areas.

"Two of the tigers have already been driven back into the park area and efforts are on to locate the third tiger," Sivakumar told IANS over phone.

Formed in 1908, the Kaziranga National park, a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1985, is home to more than 2,200 one-horned Indian rhinoceros, approximately two-third of the total world population.

Each year, the monsoon floods inundate the National Park, located on the edge of the Eastern Himalayan biodiversity hotspots of Golaghat and Nagaon district, forcing a large number of the wild animals to leave the park and head towards the nearby hills in Karbi Anglong district by crossing National Highway-37 that passes near the park's boundary.

According to the officials, 45 animals, mostly hog deer, were injured due to flood and one by vehicle hit.

Of the 223 camps of forest personnel guarding the park, 173 have been inundated and 14 others vacated due to rising water levels.

Dr Samshul Ali, veterinarian-surgeon at the Kaziranga National Park, said, “Animals are getting stranded due to the flood and some of them require rescue. Kaziranga Park and Wildlife trust India teams and locals of Kaziranga are tirelessly working to provide them safe passage and rescue them whenever necessary.”

On Tuesday, the Golaghat police said on Twitter: “After review of the flood situation in Kaziranga National Park and adjoining areas, movement of small vehicles on NH-37 has been resumed. Request everyone to drive slow and safe.”

Over 89,000 people affected in Meghalaya

More than 89,000 people have been affected by floods in Meghalaya's West Garo Hills district, officials said on Tuesday. Many areas of the district have been flooded and the situation is bad in Tikrikilla, Demdema and Selsella blocks, they said.

The Jinjiram river, a tributary of the Brahmaputra, is overflowing, the officials said.

"The situation is bad and three blocks — Tikrikilla, Demdema and Selsella — have been affected. The situation is being monitored," West Garo Hills Deputy Commissioner Ram Singh said.

He said at least 16,400 households with a population of over 89,000 have been affected by the deluge.

The district administration has announced a seven-day Gratuitous Relief (GR) and affected people in three community and rural development blocks have been moved to safer places, the officials said.

Most people in low-lying areas have already moved to higher ground on the AMPT (Agia, Medhipara, Phulbari, Tura) road in order to avoid loss to lives and to save their livestock from drowning, a senior official from Selsella block office said.

According to latest reports, water levels have risen in Tikrikilla, Demdema and Selsella blocks.

Charbatapara, Moulakandi and Patharkata villages under Demdema Block, Rajpur, many parts of Old and New Bhaitbari, Rajabala, Chokchokia and Selsella have been affected, according to the district administration.

Many sections of the AMPT road, many PWD roads across the three blocks and the Selsella-Tura road are submerged, a PWD official said.

Some villages near and on the banks of Kamala river in Darbhanga district of Bihar, too, have been affected due to the heavy rains and subsequent floods. As the river was in full spate, about five panchayats in the eastern part of Kusheshwar in the district were affected, reported the Times of India. About 55,000 people have been affected as over 100 houses were submerged. 

Related Stories

No stories found.
The News Minute