Death toll reaches 62 after eight more people drowned in Assam Floods
Assam continues to reel under devastating floods that have killed over 60 people and affected the lives of millions more. As of Sunday morning, the death toll is 62 after eight people died by drowning in flood waters. The northeast region is witnessing torrential rains that have caused flash floods, landslides and even left major roads in big cities like Guwahati flooded. Besides Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh are among the most affected states.
According to a forecast by the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the region will receive rains at least till June 20. Local disaster management officials say this could worsen the flood and landslide situation in Assam and Meghalaya.
In Assam, about 2.6 million people across 30 districts have been affected.
1.5 lakh have taken shelter in 765 relief camps, according to a state disaster management report. Guwahati is the worst-hit city in the state, with low-lying areas like Anil Nagar, Nabin Nagar, Zoo Road, Six Mile, Bhootnath, Maligaon, Rajgarh Link Road, Hatigaon, Rukimingaon and Gotanagar all facing floods. A Central Water Commission report said that due to heavy rainfall the Brahmaputra and eight other rivers in Assam are flowing above danger level. The state administration has appealed to people in flood-affected areas to take shelter in government buildings like schools. The situation is no better in Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh, where roads have been damaged due to landslides and several villages have been flooded.
In Meghalaya, at least 32 people have lost their lives so far. Flash floods and landslides have been reported from Gillabora and Kolaibari villages in the South West Khasi hills district.
The state has sought help from the Border Security Force (BSF) for rescue ops. Road networks has been compromised as all agencies of the government are pressed into service. As in Assam, several rivers - including the Brahmaputra, Kopili, Paladadiya, Jia-Bharali, Manas and Beki - are flowing above the danger level.
In neighbouring Arunachal Pradesh, water from the Subansiri river has submerged an under-construction hydroelectric power project dam site.
A portion of National Highway-6, which passes through Assam, Meghalaya and Tripura, has also caved in due to landslides, bringing traffic movement to a halt. In Assam, the state has set up 514 relief camps and 302 relief distribution centres. Multiple teams of the Indian Army and National and State Disaster Response Force, as well as fire and emergency services personnel and district officials have been deployed.
On Saturday, Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma directed officials to ensure an adequate supply of food for all flood-affected districts and said relief ops should not be compromised. Deputy Commissioners have been told to ask for more resources - manpower or otherwise - if needed.
Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma has announced ex gratia of ₹4 lakh to the next of kin of each of the deceased.
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