The flood situation in Assam remained grim with rains continuing in most parts of the state. Other than the 2 hill districts, 31 of the 33 districts of the state have been affected by one of the worst floods in the state in the last few years.
According to official estimates, nearly 43 lakh people in more than 4000 villages in 30 districts have been hit by the floods. 15 people have lost their lives in the floods so far in Assam. The state witnessed intense rainfall over the last week, which caused large scale flooding and landslide in various areas.
According to the flood report of the Assam Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) yesterday, the flood-hit districts include Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Biswanath, Sonitpur, Darrang, Udalguri, Baksa, Barpeta, Nalbari, Chirang, Bongaigaon, Kokrajhar, Dhubri, South Salmara, Goalpara, Kamrup, Kamrup (Metro), Morigaon, Hojai, Nagaon, Golaghat, Majuli, Jorhat, Sivasagar, Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Cachar, Karbi Anglong East, Karbi Anglong West, Hailakandi and Karimganj.
Assam is squeezed between the Himalayas and its foothills in Bhutan and Arunachal on the North and the hills in the hill states of North East in the south. Hence when it rains over the hills, the water rushes towards the valleys in Assam through hundreds of rivers that line the state, causing flood.
A viral photo on social media shows the extent of rise in water in Brahmaputra in Guwahati. A statue of Vishnu on Sheshnag in Chakreswar temple in the city has been submerged almost completely, which is placed on a pillar and remains several meters above the water level in normal time.
The river Brahmaputra and several of tributaries are flowing above the danger level at various places in the state. Swelling rivers have breached several dikes constructed to contain water, causing flash floods in many areas. The Brahmaputra is flowing almost 110 cm above the danger level in Guwahati also, and water has entered from the river in few places of the city. The administration is using high power pumps to remove the water, but rising water levels have made the situation worse.
In many areas, road communication has stalled as water has washed away portions of roads. Even the National Highway 37, which connects upper Assam and lower Assam on the south bank, was closed yesterday due to overflowing water in several places near Kaziranga National Park.
More than 90% of the Kaziranga National Park has been flooded, forcing animals to flee to the Karbi hills on the south, crossing the National Highway 37 which is dangerous. Several animals have already lost their life hit by vehicles on the highway. More than 200 animals have died in Kaziranga during the floods, which includes 4 rhinos and one tiger. Animals have also taken shelter on the dozens of artificial highlands constructed in the park to cope with such situations. The 33 new highlands constructed last year have proved to be very useful in this regard, and although most of the park is under water, this year there are enough places for animals to take shelter.
The administration has opened 183 relief camps in the state where people displaced by floods are accommodated. Apart from that, 311 relief distribution centres are also operating in the state. Schools buildings have been used as relief camps, which closed at present due to summer vacation. NDRF and SDRF had rescued more than 7000 people who were stranded in flood-hit areas.
As the flood situation in the state continues, the demand for declaring the Assam floods as a national problem has been renewed by various organisations. Yesterday Prime Minister Narendra Modi talked to Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal over phone and assured him all help in dealing with the situation. Union Jal Shakti minister G S Shekhawat visited Assam today to review the flood situation.