Two more people died in Assam on Thursday and about 2.94 lakh in 300 villages have been displaced by flash floods in the state, The Hindu reported. With this, the toll has risen to three.

Officials said two of them drowned in Lakhipur and Balijana areas of western Assam’s Goalpara district. The person who died on Wednesday was also from the same district.

Goalpara, bordering Meghalaya, has been the worst-hit district and 2.01 lakh people have been forced to take shelter on higher, dryer grounds there. This is followed by Hojai with 36,064 people displaced and Nagaon with 27,691, both in central Assam.

The number of displaced people across 300 inundated villages increased from 2.72 lakh to 2.94 lakh within a span of 24 hours. Meanwhile, flood water has receded from two districts after the incessant rainfall stopped, and nine districts are affected. “The floods have affected crops in 21,572.30 hectares,” a spokesperson of the Assam State Disaster Management Authority said. “Thankfully, the floodwaters have receded from two districts – Lakhimpur and Barpeta.”

The Brahmaputra continued to flow above the danger mark in parts of eastern Assam’s Jorhat district. Officials said the water level of the Jia Bharali and Puthimari rivers has subsided, but the Kopili river was flowing above the danger mark in Nagaon district.

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal held a meeting with officials regarding the flood situation in the state, IANS reported. He asked the officials to follow coronavirus protocols to ensure that the infection does not spread in relief camps. “The chief minister has also directed all the deputy commissioners to keep ready soap, water for hand washing and masks for inmates and to sanitise the flood relief camps,” an official in the chief minister’s secretariat said. “He also asked the district administrations to ensure that no irregularities take place while distributing relief to the flood affected people.”

The state has recorded over 850 coronavirus cases and four deaths so far, according to figures from the Union health ministry.

Teachers to be on flood duty

The state government has decided that all the teachers of schools and colleges that are closed due to the nationwide lockdown will be engaged in flood and rescue operations. Several of them are already deployed in the quarantine centres and others have been given official work in the state’s health department.

Last week, the Assam State Disaster Management Authority had issued revised set of guidelines for the management of relief camps, in view of the pandemic situation. The state government also asked all deputy commissioners to undertake repair work of embankments.

The state has faced massive floods in the past and last year all 33 districts of the state were affected.