Assam flood turns grave, NH 31 overtopped

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Guwahati, Aug 31 (UNI) All major rivers in Assam, including the Brahmaputra, were flowing over the danger mark today following incessant rain, with the situation taking a grave turn especially in western Assam and Majuli river island.

The National Highway 31, the lifeline of the entire northeastern region, has been overtopped in Rangiya since this morning, forcing the closure of traffic movement for almost one-and-half km stretch.

The Air Force's help has been enlisted for rescue operations, with four people rescued by helicopters.

Army's Rangiya-based Red Horns division is also helping in the rescue and relief operations.

Continuous downpour in catchments had led to a steady rise in the water level of Brahmaputra and its tributaries, a Central Water Commission report informed.

The Puthimari river at the NH crossing in Rangiya in Kamrup (rural) district recorded a new high flood level (HFL) of 55.08 mts in the early hours today, surpassing the previous HFL of 55.04 mts.

The water had, however, since then receded to 52.82 mts at 12 noon, the CWC report said adding the swelling waters had already inundated vast tracts of land and affected life.

State government spokesperson Himanta Biswa Sharma and Kamrup (rural) DC are visiting affected areas and overseeing rescue and relief work.

The water level of Pagladiya at NT road crossing in Nalbari district also touched a high of 54.03 mts till early this morning, against the HFL of 55.45 mts.

The Brahmaputra was flowing above the danger level at Dibrugarh, Nematighat at Jorhat, Tezpur and Dhubri.

Other major rivers flowing over the red mark are Jia Bharali at Soniptur, Manas and Beki at Barpeta, Sankosh at Golokgunj in Dhubri and Kushiyara in Karimganj.

Meanwhile, almost 80 per cent of the total population of the river island Majuli continued to be affected by flood during the past one week, Jorhat district administration said.

Water has gushed into the world's largest fresh water island through breaches on the northern end, with people taking shelter in high roads and embankments.

Relief materials were being distributed, though no camps have been opened yet.

UNI SG SB DB PD RK1850

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