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Assam Floods: Toll Rises to 67, Scene Still not Normal

Hailakandi

GUWAHATI: With two more persons dead in floods during the last 24 hours, the death toll in the present wave of floods has risen to 67 across the State besides two in landslides earlier. One person died each in Dhemaji and Dhubri on Monday. Meanwhile, though the waters have receded in most parts of the State, people are yet to resume normal life as most of the people have not been able to return home what with many of their houses damaged in floodwater.

Among the rivers still flowing above the danger, the level is the Brahmaputra at Neamatighat in Jorhat and Dhubri and the Jia Bharali at NT Road crossing in Sonitpur.

As on Monday, 30,55,837 people have been affected in 2,283 villages of 59 revenue circles across 18 districts namely Dhemaji, Biswanath, Darrang, Barpeta, Nalbari, Chirang, Bongaigaon, Kokrajhar, Dhubri, South Salmara, Goalpara, Kamrup, Kamrup (M), Morigaon, Nagaon, Golaghat, Jorhat, and Cachar.

Presently, 644 relief camps are operational in the districts of Dhemaji, Biswanath, Darrang, Barpeta, Chirang, Bongaigaon, Kokrajhar, Dhubri, Goalpara, Kamrup, Morigaon, Nagaon, Golaghat and Jorhat districts with 96,890 inmates and 113 ‘Relief Distribution Centres’ in the districts of Darrang, Barpeta, Dhubri, Kamrup, Morigaon and Golaghat.

A release of Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) said that over 1,14,179 hectares of agricultural land, including withstanding crops, continued to be affected by floods and close to 97,000 people are living in 757 relief camps set up by district administrations.

Meanwhile, IANS quoted Forest department officials as saying that 187 animals including 15 rhinos, an elephant and over 100 deer have died. The current wave of floods has submerged almost 90 percent of the Kaziranga National Park, forcing the wild animals to stray out to take shelter on higher ground while floodwaters have also submerged the anti-poaching camps over the last one week.

The park authorities have, however, said that the flood situation is improving gradually as the water level has been showing a receding trend. “The floodwater level is showing a falling trend and we have recorded that the water level had fallen by 162 cm till Monday morning,” an official said, adding that Forest Department staff have been working hard along with villagers to protect the distressed wild animals.

As many as 16 animals — 15 hog deer and a sambar — were killed by speeding vehicles on National Highway -37 while 15 rhinos and an elephant died of drowning. “A total of 13 wild boar, 12 sambar, six hog deer, two water buffaloes, and three porcupines have also died due to drowning,” he said, adding that the Forest officials and local villagers have also rescued 53 hog deer, some of which were later released in the wild again.

Also Read: Assam Floods: Agriculture Department Needs Rs 35 Crore