Assam is reeling under heavy floods, which has affected at least 18 lakh people in 22 districts of the state and over 20 have people died in the floods. Over one lakh people have been forced to abandon their houses and take refuge in relief camps.
Flood waters have inundated 3,374 Assam villages as well as crops standing on 2,13,251 hectares of land, an ASDMA official said. The farmers of these flood affected districts are facing heavy loss as thousands of acres of their paddy and other Kharif crops have been submerged under flood water.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh visited Assam today to take stock of the still grim flood situation in the state. Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh also accompanied the Home Minister
With houses submerged, boats have become the solace for 18 lakh people. They sleep, cook and eat on the boats.The affected districts include Lakhimpur, Golaghat, Jorhat, Bongaigaon, Dhemaji, Barpeta, Goalpara, Dhubri, Darrang, Morigaon, Sonitpur, Nalbari, Sivasagar, Kokrajhar, Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Biswanath, Kamrup Metropolitan, Chirang, Nagaon, Kamrup and South Kamrup.
A total of 8,850 boats have been pressed into service to evacuate people stranded in flooded areas with about 3.89 lakh people being evacuated so far. The Disaster Management Department statement said rivers like Kagmati-Benibad in Muzaffarpur, Aghwara-Kamtaul in Darbhanga, Koshi-Baltara in Khagaria, were flowing above the danger level.
Almost 80 per cent of the Kaziranga national park, home to the one-horned rhino, is submerged in water. As many as 130 forest camps located in five different ranges in Kaziranga have been completely submerged, while 19 anti-poaching camps have been vacated or shifted to dry land areas of NH 37.
Rescuers were able to save eight rhino babies from being washed away. Rescuers have also saved 42 Swamp Deer and Hog Deer living in Kaziranga and nearby forests. Three rhinos, seven rhino calves and more than 18 deer have reportedly been killed in the deluge. While Scores of animals have been washed away or left dead. During floods, adult rhinos try and escape to the Karbi Anglong hills on the southern side of Kaziranga.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has said that the railways will provide free wagons for transportation of essential commodities to the flood-affected districts of Assam.
Asking the administration to take special care of all kinds of medical emergencies and the health of the infants, children and elderly people in the relief camps, Chief Minister Sonowal directed the medical department to keep an eye to tackle the outbreak of any epidemic.