Assam floods: Ten more deaths recorded; army deployed for rescue operations

Even as the Centre assured assistance to flood-hit Assam, the state authorities on Sunday directed officials concerned to speed up rescue and relief operations as the situation continued to get grimmer in the state.

Over 14 more deaths were reported in the last 24 hours in the flood-stricken state. The Times of India reported that the army has been deployed to rescue marooned people and the IAF has also been put on standby for relief and rescue operations.

The Army's Red Horns Division of the Gajraj Corps has dispatched multiple teams after receiving calls for help from various district administrations, a defence spokesperson said. He added that about 3,000 people have been rescued by the Army from Bodoland Territorial Area Districts and Karbi Anglong.

The report added that 21 of the 33 districts have been hit by one of the worst floods that Assam has ever witnessed. Following Sunday's toll in flood-related incidents, the total number of persons losing their lives in this year's flood-related incidents in the state went up to 99 an Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) report said.

Over 22.5 lakh people living so far have been affected by the third wave of floods this year. According to India Today, a red alert has been issued by the weather department in the states of Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh. The report added that the worst affected areas in the state are Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Biswanath, Baksa, Barpeta, Bongaigaon, Chirang, Kikrajhar, Dhubri, Jorhat, Majuli, Sivsagar, Charaideo, Tinsukia and Dibrugarh districts.

File image of locals stranded in Assam floods. Reuters

File image of locals stranded in Assam floods. Reuters

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday spoke to Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and enquired about the scale of devastation caused by floods, apart from assuring of all central cooperation.

Sonowal apprised Modi about his government's relief and rescue efforts and that district administration in all flood-hit districts had been directed to ensure speedy relief distribution.

The chief minister visited a flood relief camp at Bhismak LP School at Panchmile in Sadiya on Sunday and took stock of the arrangements made for the camp inmates. He visited Kundil riverside and directed the water resources department to take immediate measures to stop soil erosion due to floods.

Continuous erosion by Kundil river has been causing a serious threat to Panchmile, Lakhimi Gaon, and Bogoribari, apart from threatening the Kundil Bridge.

Sonowal told media persons that Kundil river's dredging will be taken up during winter to check the change in its course due to soil erosion. He added that the state government was taking steps to tackle problems faced by people in Amarpur area, including improvement in road connectivity.

A proposal to construct two bridges to connect Amarpur to other places had been submitted to the Centre, the chief minister stated, adding that the Ministry for Roads and Highways will conduct a survey for the proposed project.

The India Today report added that the ASDMA has warned about the swollen Brahmaputra. ASDMA said that the river is flowing above the danger level at several locations and that the water level is rising five centimetres every few hours. Besides the Brahmaputra river, nine other rivers are also flowing well above the danger mark in the flood-affected state. ASDMA added that Buridihing, Dhansiri, Jia Bharali, Puthimari and Sankosh river, in particular, were flowing above danger levels and have submerged more than 20,000 hectares of cropland.

The chief minister also visited Aithan Ring Bund at Bogibeel, Dibrugarh, and took stock of the situation. He asserted that the state government was serious in finding a permanent solution to the recurring floods, he assured the affected people of adequate relief and said the district machinery had been pressed into service to meet the requirements of survivors.

He held discussions with railways authorities on the expeditious completion of the road-rail bridge at Bogibeel.

Assam Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Pallab Lochan Das on Sunday directed deputy commissioners of flood-affected districts through video conferencing to gear up rescue and relief efforts on a war footing.

The deputy commissioners were directed to keep a vigil on relief and rescue efforts down to the grass-roots level. According to PTI, heavy to very heavy rain is expected for the next few days in Assam as well.

With inputs from agencies.

Updated Date: Aug 13, 2017 22:31 PM

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