The Indian Army was called for assistance in Assam as the flood situation in the state worsened on Friday with the toll rising to six and affecting nearly 8.7 lakh people across 21 districts.
Officials said the Army’s assistance was sought in Baksa district to aid the personnel of National Disaster Response Force and State Disaster Response Force in rescuing marooned people.
Officials of the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) said three more persons died in rain and flood-related incidents in Golaghat and Dima Hasao districts on Friday. While two persons died in the flood at Bokakhat revenue circle in Golaghat, one died in a landslide in Haflong in Dima Hasao district.
It said about 8.7 lakh persons have been hit by the deluge in Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Biswanath, Sonitpur, Darrang, Baksa, Barpeta, Nalbari, Chirang, Bongaigaon, Kokrajhar, Goalpara, Morigaon, Hojai, Nagaon, Golaghat, Majuli, Jorhat, Sivasagar, Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts.
The state has a total of 33 districts and three persons had died in floods and around 4.23 lakh people were affected in 17 districts in recent days.
Barpeta is the worst hit with 3.5 lakh people affected, followed by Dhemaji where 1.2 lakh people are hit. They are followed by Bongaigaon, where the number of persons affected is 62,500, ASDMA said.
Massive erosion has taken place at various places in Chirang, Barpeta and Baksa due to the floods, which has submerged a total of 1,556 villages and damaged 27,864.16 hectares of crop area, embankments, roads, bridges, culverts and other infrastructure in the affected districts.
The authorities are running 68 relief camps and distribution centres in 11 districts, where 7,643 people are taking shelter currently, ASDMA said.
The Army, NDRF and SDRF have rescued 1,160 persons in the state since Thursday and have distributed 1,281.35 quintals of rice, dal, salt and 1,493.46 litres of mustard oil, besides tarpaulin, water pouch, sanitary napkins, baby food and other essential items.
Currently, Brahmaputra is flowing above its danger mark at Guwahati, at Nimatighat in Jorhat, Tezpur in Sonitpur and at Goalpara and Dhubri towns.
Burhidehing river is flowing above its danger mark at Khowang in Dibrugarh, Desang river at Nanglamuraghat in Sivasagar, Dhansiri river at Numaligarh in Golaghat and Jia Bharali at N.T. Road Crossing in Sonitpur district. Kopili river is above the red at Kampur in Nagaon, Puthimari river at NH Road Crossing in Kamrup, Beki river at Road Bridge in Barpeta, Katakhal river at Matizuri in Hailakandi and Kushiyara river at Karimganj town, the ASDMA added.
With the Brahmaputra flowing 2.27 meters above the danger level at Neematighat, ferry services to and from Majuli island, which is Asia’s largest river island, remained suspended for the fifth day on Friday, Central Water Commission officials said.
The Inland Water Transport Authority of the state government has kept two of its vessels ready and loaded with anti-erosion materials to meet any situation in the erosion-prone areas of the island.
The swirling flood waters have forced the Railway authority to control train services due to “settlement of tracks” in Lumding-Badarpur hill section, Northeast Frontier Railway Chief Public Relations Officer Pranav Jyoti Sharma said.
Heavy rains have affected the train tracks between Jatinga Lumpur to New Harangajao station in Lumding-Badarpur hill section of the NF Railway, he added.
As a result, some trains have either been cancelled or short-terminated, Sharma said.
Kaziranga National Park, the famed habitat of the Great Indian Rhino and a World Heritage site, has been affected too, forcing the authorities to set up road barricades on the National Highway passing through it to limit the speed of vehicles, said Kaziranga Divisional Forest Officer Ruhini Saikia.
The Golaghat administration has also imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPC in the areas near the park as the animals are coming out of it to go to the Karbi Anglong hills in search of safety in its high grounds.