The toll from the Assam floods on Wednesday rose to 92 after seven more people died in flood-related accidents in the state, PTI reported. Nearly 36 lakh people across 26 districts have been affected so far, according to a daily bulletin by the State Disaster Management Authority.
Of the seven reported deaths on Wednesday, three died in Morigaon district, two in Barpeta, and one each was killed in Sonitpur and Golaghat districts, the SDMA said. While 66 people died in floods, 26 were killed in landslides.
The bulletin said Dhubri is the worst-hit district with over 5.51 lakh people affected. Other districts that were gravely affected are Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Biswanath, Sonitpur, Darrang, Baksa, Nalbari, Barpeta, Chirang, Bongaigaon, Kokrajhar, Dhubri, South Salmara, Goalpara, Kamrup, Kamrup Metropolitan, Morigaon, Nagaon, Hojai, Golaghat, Jorhat, Majuli, Sivasagar, Dibrugarh, Tinsukia and Karbi Anglong.
The National Disaster Response Force, and the State Disaster Response Force along with district administrations rescued 3,991 people in 24 hours on Wednesday by deploying 180 boats across the state. At present, 3,376 villages are under water and 1,27,647.25 hectares of crop areas have been damaged across Assam, the SDMA said. It added that authorities are running 629 relief camps and distribution centres across 23 districts, where 36,320 people have taken shelter currently.
The Brahmaputra River is flowing above the danger mark at Guwahati, Dhubri and Goalpara cities. The water levels of the river are also dangerously high at Nimatighat in Jorhat and Tezpur in Sonitpur districts. Its tributaries Dhansiri at Numaligarh in Golaghat, Jia Bharali at NT Road Crossing in Sonitpur, Kopili at Kampur and Dharamtul in Nagaon, Beki at Road Bridge in Barpeta and Kushiyara at Karimganj town are also flowing above the red marks.
Considerable damage to infrastructure was also reported from many parts of the state. Embankments, roads, bridges and culverts collapsed at various places in Lakhimpur, Biswanath, Chirang, Kokrajhar, Barpeta, Darrang, Bongaigaon, Udalguri, Nagaon, Kamrup, Baksa and Dhubri districts. Massive soil erosion was witnessed in areas of Nalbari, Baksa, Bongaigaon and Kokrajhar districts, the bulletin said.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal visited a flood relief camp set up at Teok Rajabari Higher Secondary School in Jorhat district.“Our government is working on a war footing to provide all necessary assistance to the flood-affected people,” he said in a tweet. “[The] district administration, Assam Police, SDRF, NDRF and other departments are rescuing the marooned people.”
Kaziranga National Park submerged
Severe flooding left scores of animals in Kaziranga National Park in grave danger. According to the bulletin released by the SDMA on Wednesday, the floods have affected 167 out of 223 camps at the Kaziranga National Park. As many as 66 animals have been killed, while 117 others have been rescued in the national park, the bulletin said.
The park is home to elephants, Indian hog deer, wild buffalo and the one-horned rhino, a species facing a “high risk of extinction in the wild,” according to the World Wildlife Fund.
Two rhinoceros were drowned to death in the park, the Hindustan Times reported. Unidentified authorities of the national park told the newspaper that that carcasses of a male and a female rhino were found on Tuesday at Tinimukhuni Nallah and Miikrjan Tongi areas in the central range of the park.
A one-year-old baby rhinoceros that was separated from its mother in the Agartoli range of the park was rescued on Wednesday morning by team of Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation along with Kaziranga staff. The female calf has now been placed under care at the CWRC rescue centre. However, the rescue team have been unable to locate the mother.
Meanwhile, wildlife officials and rescue workers at the flooded Kaziranga National Park provided a safe passage for three tigers in less than two days, The Hindu reported. The officials guided them to the relative safety of the hills beyond a highway along the southern edge of the park.
“Two tigers swam out to Baghmari village on the outskirts of the western range of the KNP.” the park’s director, P Shivkumar, told the newspaper. “One was directed towards Karbi Anglong and reached safely, the other disturbed by dogs in the village rested beside the highway before it was also guided to the forest in the hills.”