NE floods affect 11.3 million people, submerge 95% of Kaziranga Park
16 July 2019
The flood situation in Bihar and Assam turned extremely critical, with unabated rains submerging large parcels of land, displacing tens of thousands of people and cutting off entire areas. The Assam government issued a red alert across the state.
In Bihar, the toll mounted to 24 on Monday, with nearly 70 lakh people affected, even as north India witnessed widespread rainfall.
In Bihar, 2.57 million people are reeling from the deluge in 12 districts of the state following incessant rains in neighbouring country Nepal.
Five more children drowned in two separate incidents in East Champaran district, but a senior official of the state disaster management department said they were not counted among the flood casualties.
Delhi also received 28.8 mm of rainfall, the highest for July, and more rains are expected over the next two to three days, according to the IMD.
In Assam, the deluge affected as many as 4,157 villages across 30 districts of the northeastern state, including Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Biswanath, Sonitpur, Darrang, Udalguri, Baksa, Barpeta, Nalbari, Chirang, Bongaigaon and Kokrajhar.
The number of dead also increased to 15, with four more people losing their lives on Monday.
Floods also submerged rhino habitats at the Kaziranga National Park, Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary and the Manas National Park.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal over phone and discussed about the prevailing condition on Monday.
The floods have overrun 1,53,211 hectares of farm land with standing crops, the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) said in a release.
The water level of the Brahmaputra rose above the danger level across the state and is threatening to submerge parts of the state capital, Guwahati, through which it flows.
All the ten other rivers in the state are flowing dangerously high as the rains continued.
The town of Bokakhat has been cut off from the rest of entire upper Assam due to the flood waters, the ASDMA said.
Barpeta was the worst-hit district, with as many as 7.35 lakh people facing the brunt of the flood fury, followed by Goalpara, Morigaon, Nagaon and Hailakandi.
As many as 83,000 people evacuated from flooded areas have been accommodated in 183 relief camps across the state.
Road connectivity to Upper Assam has been cut off. Ferry services were called off earlier due to strong water currents.
Forest officials said that 95 per cent of the Kaziranga National Park -- home to the endangered one-horned rhino -- has been flooded with the death of 17 wild animals in the past two days. Animals could be seen emerging out of the park to escape drowning.
Agricultural activities in the state have also been hit, with nearly 90,000 hectares of agricultural land getting flooded. Many such fields had standing crops on them.
According to the state government, 15 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams comprising 380 personnel have been deployed to rescue people from flood-affected areas. The state health department has also been instructed to address medical issues arising from the situation.
Flood control mechanisms, including control rooms, have been pressed into service with state government officials manning them round the clock, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said.
The veterinary and animal husbandry department has also been directed to help marooned animals, he added.
The Union government is reported to have assured the state of all possible support and cooperation in mitigating the effects of the flood fury.