Assam Flood Situation Worsens, 14 More Deaths Take Toll To 173

Around 29.70 lakh people in Assam are affected in 2,450 villages in 30 districts by floods.

Villagers wade through floodwaters to a safer place in Rangia, west of Guwahati.

Assam's flood situation worsened on Friday as 14 more deaths were reported, taking the death toll of this year's floods to 173.

Of the 14 newly reported deaths, six were reported in Cachar district, three in Nagaon, two in Barpeta, and one each in Karimganj, Kokrajhar, and Lakhimpur, according to a bulletin of the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA).

The total number of affected people declined slightly to 29.70 lakh from the previous day's 29.80 lakh. However, many parts of Cachar district's severely affected Silchar town are still waterlogged.

Rivers such as the Brahmaputra, Beki, Kopili, Barak, and the Kushiyara are flowing above the danger level at several places, though most of them are maintaining a receding trend.

A total of 2,450 villages under 88 revenue circles have been affected across the state, while 3,03,484 people have taken shelter in 563 relief camps, according to the bulletin.

Besides Cachar where a population of 14,04,748 were hit by the calamity, Nagaon and Barpeta districts were also hugely affected. 

A total of 17 embankments were breached - 12 in Cachar, four in Udalguri and one in Baksa while 486 roads and 14 bridges have been damaged. 

A crop area of 63314.75 hectares has been inundated while 795 animals were washed away and 9,55,089 were affected.

Large scale erosion was also reported from Barpeta, Bongaigaon, Chirang, Dhubri, Jorhat, Kamrup, Lakhimpur, Majuli, Morigaon, Nalbari, Sonitpur, Tinsukia and Udalguri.

Urban flooding was reported from Cachar, Dibrugarh, Udalguri and Tinsukia, the bulletin added.

Meanwhile, a visiting Inter-Ministerial Central Team (IMCT) went to some of the flood-hit districts to assess the damage, according to an official release. The team members in two groups visited seven districts and discussed the situation with the respective district administration.

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma distributed ex-gratia of Rs 4 lakh each to the next of kin of 10 of the 24 people who died due to the flood in Cachar district. The process of granting relief to family members of the other deceased will be taken up in a phased manner.

Sarma also visited the breached Bethukundi dyke, which led to the devastation in Silchar town. He also reviewed the reconstruction activities being undertaken on breached locations and instructed officials to ensure that good quality raw material is used.

Sarma, in his third visit to Barak Valley within 10 days, also held a meeting with Cachar district administration to review measures being taken to deal with the situation. 

He said, "I am happy to see a marked improvement in the flood scenario as compared to the situation during my two previous visits."

Sarma also visited Karimganj district and reviewed the flood situation there. He visited two relief camps in Silchar and four in Karimganj and assured those who have taken shelter there of all help by the administration. 

Sarma also went by boat to the affected people of Srirampur village in Karimganj and directed the district authorities to take steps to provide relief to them.

The district administration has taken steps to pump out the clogged water and the process has already started in some areas, officials said. 

(With PTI inputs)