Assam flood killed two children, over 3.63 lakh people affected; Centre assures full support

Floods have triggered parts of Assam which have killed two children, with over 3.63 lakh people affected in 17 districts across the state, as per the authorities.

According to Monday’s bulletin from the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), the affected districts included Barpeta, Biswanath, Cachar, Chirang, Darrang, Dhemaji, Dhubri, Dibrugarh, Golaghat, Jorhat, Kamrup, Karbi Anglong West, Lakhimpur, Majuli, Morigaon, Nagaon, Nalbari, Sivasagar, Sonitpur, South Salmara, and Tinsukia.

Among them, Lakhimpur is the worst-hit district with more than 1.3 lakh people affected. There are 44 relief camps where 1,619 people are currently housed.

Nearly 950 villages were underwater and 30,333.36 hectares of crop areas have been damaged across the state, the bulletin added.

It has also been reported that nearly seventy percent of the Kaziranga National Park (KNP) is inundated.  On Monday, three hog deer, fleeing the floodwaters, were killed by vehicles on the National Highway-37 (NH-37), which lies on the periphery of the park.

During the floods, the highway often emerges as a death trap for animals which forces them to flee the inundated grasslands for safer grounds in the hilltops of Karbi Anglong district.

“The situation is not critical yet,” said KNP director, P Sivakumar, adding that it was the “first proper flood of the year.”

He further added prioritizing the safety of the animal’s speed restriction of 40 kmph had been implemented for vehicles plying on the NH-37.

 “Despite that, accident-free movement is a challenge. 90 percent may obey rules, but even if two percent does not, it leads to deaths,” he said, adding that animals had begun to migrate to safer ground.

Sivakumar said that they were better placed than the year, and this level of the flood was necessary for KNP. “Especially because we have had no flood this year, we need the floodwater to rejuvenate our grasslands, clean our wetlands,” he said.

Meanwhile, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma appealed to people to take an alternative route till the water comes down in the affected area,  “We all take pride in Kaziranga National Park. In wake of floods causing displacement of Kaziranga animals & putting them at risk, may I appeal to truck / other vehicles to avoid NH 715 for commuting between lower & upper Assam & use NH 15 thru North Bank instead?” the Chief Minister tweeted.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also tweeted and assured that all possible help would be provided by the centre to help fight the natural disaster arising in Assam.

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