Flood situation in Assam deteriorates

Assam Map
Guwahati, Sep 23: The flood situation in Assam has deteriorated with 15 districts reeling under its impact, as large parts of Dibru-Saikhowa and Kaziranga National Parks and Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary are submerged and five deaths reported so far, official sources said today.

In Dibru-Saikhowa National Park in upper Assam's Tinsukia district, two elephant calves were today swept away with the flood waters, submerging a major portion of the park famed for its endangered animal species and wet evergreen forests, sources said.

The surging waters of the swollen rain-fed Brahmaputra and its tributaries overran fresh areas affecting an estimated five lakh people in Dibrugarh, Sonitpur, Tinsukia, Golaghat, Morigaon, Dhemaji, Kamrup (Rural), Lakhimpur, Baksa, Barpeta, Jorhat, Nalbari, Sibsagar and Udalguri districts, the sources said.

In the third wave of floods during the current year, two persons, including a woman, were washed away in Dibrugarh district yesterday, one person drowned in Demow river in Dhemaji district and two others in Tinsukia district's Dhola area on Sep 13.

Incessant rains in Arunachal Pradesh, Bhutan foothills and in the state for the last 15 days, have caused the Brahmaputra and its tributaries to rise above the danger level in most places and breach river dykes, embankments and overflow into human habitats and farm land, they said.

In Sonitpur district, the Army and National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) were assisting the district administration in rescue and relief operations, pressing into service 10 special boats where road communication has been snapped by the deluge, district Deputy Commissioner Tapan Chandra Sarma.

Tinsukia district administration has airlifted 100 marooned people in waterlogged Sadiya subdivision's Paanch Mile area and Army helicopters were airdropping food items there.

In Golaghat district, 75 per cent of the rhino habitat Kaziranga National Park, along with its 126 anti-poaching camps were under water with the animals there forced to take shelter on high platforms constructed inside the Park or move across to the hills of Karbi Anglong district, KNP authorities said.

With the water entering the Park's four ranges -- Bagori, Burapahar, Kohora and Agoratoli -- security has been stepped up to prevent poaching and time cards issued to control speed of vehicles on National Highway 37 passing along the Park, they said.

Stating that deer and other small animals from the Park were crossing over to the highlands of Karbi Anglong, they said all the domesticated elephants used for patrolling, survey and park rides by tourists were taken to the neighbouring district for safety.

Seventy-five per cent of Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, about 30 km east of Guwahati, with a dense population of the Great Indian one-horned rhinoceros, was flooded with the animals taking shelter on high platforms there, Forest Department sources said.

The alternate Chandrapur highway from Guwahati to Nagaon district through Morigaon was under threat of being breached at Mayong with the Brahmaputra rising alarmingly in the district where around two lakh people are hit by the floods, officials said.

In Dibrugarh district, a number of tea estates were submerged with the flood waters flowing above the roof of some of the labour line houses, officials said.

The 200-year-old district headquarters, Dibrugarh city, was experiencing severe waterlogging due to constant rains with houses in some of the areas under water up to their roofs.

Boats were being used for moving around in the police reserve compound, sources said. Due to breach of the Dibrugarh city protection dyke at Koilaghat area, 40 houses had been washed away by the Brahmaputra, they said.


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