The toll from the Assam floods on Sunday rose to 107 after 81 people were killed in flood-related incidents and 26 died due to landslides in the state so far, PTI reported, citing Assam State Disaster Management Authority. More than 27 lakh people across 26 of the 33 districts have been affected so far.
“The flood situation remains critical with most of the rivers flowing menacingly above the danger mark,” Assam Water Resources Minister Keshab Mahanta told Reuters.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured full support to Assam as it battles the floods and the coronavirus pandemic. The prime minister discussed the situation with Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who informed him about the measures taken to deal with the crises.
The disaster management body said 2,678 villages are under flood waters and displaced people have taken refuge in 649 relief camps across 21 districts. More than 47,400 people have been moved to the camps, it added.
The worst-hit districts in the state are Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Biswanath, Sonitpur, Darrang, Baksa, Nalbari, Barpeta, Bongaigaon, Kokrajhar, Dhubri, South Salmara, Goalpara, Kamrup, Nagaon, Golaghat, Jorhat, Majuli, Sivasagar, Dibrugarh, Tinsukia and Karbi Anglong.
Officials of the ASDMA have raised concern over reports of discarded personal protection equipment kits, masks, blood pouches, syringes and other hospital wastes amid floodwaters in some parts of the state, according to The Hindu. “We have asked the deputy commissioner concerned to take action immediately,” said MS Manivannan, chief executive officer of the disaster management body.
108 animals dead
Meanwhile, nine rhinos are among the 108 wild animals that have died due to the floods at Kaziranga National Park, Hindustan Times reported. As the flooding worsened, nearly 85% area of the park is now submerged. Forty three of the 223 forest camps inside the park are inundated, of which six have been vacated.
Bibhab Talukdar, founder of Aaranyak, a wildlife non-governmental organisation, said that the current flood season is severe. “When there’s frequent flooding, the animals don’t get enough time to recover,” he said. “They are usually exhausted easily and hungry as well. Since the animals move towards higher locations in Karbi Anglong after crossing NH 37, it is very crucial to protect that area from human intervention.”
So far, 134 animals have been rescued and 51 have been injured by the floods. Meanwhile, 110 animals were released into the wild, while eight others including a one-year-old female rhino calf are under treatment at the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation.
The Kaziranga is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the largest home to the one-horned rhinoceros in India.