Majuli Island battles with floods

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Majuli Island (Assam), Sep 8 : Situation is grim in Majuli Island in Assam, where floods have inundated almost the entire island, affecting thousands of people and disrupting communications.

Every year, Majuli is ravaged by the mighty Brahmaputra river during the monsoons, rendering thousands homeless and destroying standing crops. This year too, the Brahmaputra breached a vital embankment along Majuli.

The floodwaters have submerged 132 villages, forcing thousands of islanders to take shelter on the embankments.

Searching of food, water and fodder are some of the major problems faced by the villagers in the island. All offices, schools and other establishments have been inundated by the flood waters.

"We expect that the government would supply us rice and pulses as the prices of the commodities will rise as all communication has been cut off," said Bhuban, a villager.

Majuli, with a population of about 150,000 people, once covered a calm and prosperous 1,500 sq km that was dotted with Hindu monasteries.

But in 1950, a severe earthquake shifted the river bed and caused massive silting that in turn led to heavy river erosion, especially during the rainy season. So intense was the erosion that Majuli has been reduced to a little over a quarter of its original size and prone to extensive flooding.

Every year the monsoon causes the river to flood in Assam, a state of 26 million people.

ANI

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