Floods wreak havoc in Assam, 12 lakh hit, 9 killed

GUWAHATI (TIP): Nine people have been killed and over 12 lakh hit by floods in 16 districts of the state. The floods were triggered by heavy rain in the region, mostly in neighbouring Arunachal, over the last few days. Till Wednesday, four persons were reported killed in Lakhimpur district, three in Dhemaji and one each in Morigaon district and Majuli river island. Over 1.63 lakh people have taken shelter in 212 relief camps. There has been no report of any animal casualty so far.

Over 3.5 lakh small and large animals, including poultry, have been hit by the floods. The affected districts include Barpeta, Bongaigaon, Dhemaji, Dibrugarh, Jorhat, Lakhimpur, Morigaon, Kamrup, Nagaon, Nalbari, Tinsukia, Sivasagar, Sonitpur, Golaghat, Udalguri and Goalpara. According to the state disaster management authority, of the 12,65,449 people affected by floods, 3,20,893 belong to the worst-hit Dhemaji district which lies in the foothills of Arunachal at the easternmost end of the state.

Dhemaji lies on the north bank of the Brahmaputra. Reports said 718 villages in four revenue circles have been hit by floods. Floodwaters have affected 43,843 hectares of crop land in the district. A total of 47,728 people have taken shelter in 69 relief camps. Chief minister Tarun Gogoi on Wednesday conducted an aerial survey of Dhemaji district, neighbouring Lakhimpur and Majuli river island which falls under Jorhat district.

The chief minister’s office said Gogoi reviewed the measures taken with Dhemaji and Lakhimpur district administrations at Lilabari airport in Lakhimpur district. In Lakhimpur, seven revenue circles, covering 240 villages and 1.14 lakh people, are reeling from floods. The chief minister directed senior officials of the concerned departments and deputy commissioners to provide relief and rehabilitation measures immediately. He asked the administrations to shift submerged schools to alternative places so that classes can resume.

Gogoi said the state government would constitute a Flood and Erosion Protection Authority with Rs 1,000 crore to strengthen existing embankments and build new ones to replace those which have outlived their utility.

“The new authority will implement long-term antierosion measures, including dredging of the Brahmaputra’s tributaries, to minimize the impact of floods and erosion,” Gogoi said. According to the state disaster management authority, the Brahmaputra is flowing above the danger mark at Nematighat (Jorhat), Guwahati, Tezpur, Goalpara and Dhubri, while the Burhidehing is flowing above the danger mark at Khowang in Dibrugarh, Subansiri at Badatighat (Lakhimpur), Desang at Nanglamuragat (Sivasagar), Dhansiiri (S) at Numaligarh (Golaghat), Jia Bharali at Sonitpur, Kopili at Dharamtul (Nagaon), Beki at Barpeta and Puthimari in Kamrup district.

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