Seven more deaths were reported from four districts of flood-hit Assam on Wednesday, taking the death toll due to the monsoon deluge to 66, while around 36 lakh people in 26 of the state's 33 districts have been affected, officials said.
According to forest officials, at least 66 animals were killed while 117 animals were rescued as 95 per cent of the world-famous Kaziranga national park, home to more than 2,200 one-horned Indian rhinoceros, was inundated.
Officials of Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) said that over the past four weeks, 66 deaths due to the floods were reported from Sonitpur, Biswanath, Tinsukia, Lakhimpur, Bongaigaon, Kamrup, Golaghat, Sivasagar, Morigaon, Tinsukia, Dhubri, Nagaon, Nalbari, Barpeta, Dhemaji, Udalguri, Goalpara and Dibrugarh districts, while 26 others have been killed in separate landslides since May 22.
The ASDMA officials said that two persons drowned on Monday in Dhubri and Morigaon districts but these deaths were not flood-related. They said more than five rivers, including the Brahmaputra, are flowing above the danger mark in many places in 12 districts.
Quoting reports from the districts, they said that the floodwater has submerged 3,376 villages, affecting around 36 lakh people and 127,647 hectares of crop area in 26 districts.
The district administrations have set up 629 relief camps and distribution centres in 23 districts, where over 36,000 men, women and children have taken shelter.
Though the flood hit 26 districts, 23 - Dhemaji, Udalguri, Darrang, Biswanath, Sonitpur, Baksa, Lakhimpur, Chirang, Barpeta, Bongaigaon, Kokrajhar, Dhubri, South Salmara, Goalpara, Kamrup, Golaghat, Jorhat, Sivasagar, Majuli, Dibrugarh, West Karbi Anglong, Karbi Anglong and Tinsukia - are the worst-hit
Besides erosion of river banks at a large number of places, roads, embankments, bridges, culverts and other infrastructure have been damaged at many locations in 26 districts, the ASDMA officials said, adding that several hundred houses were fully or partially damaged due to the flood.
Around 22 lakh domesticated animals and over 14 lakh poultry birds were affected due to floodwater.
Apart from Kaziranga national park, located on the edge of the Eastern Himalayan biodiversity hotspots of Golaghat and Nagaon districts, the Manas and RG Orang national parks, the Pabitora wildlife sanctuary, and the Tinsukia wildlife division were also affected.
The National Disaster Response Force, and State Disaster Response Force personnel, along with the local administration, are continuously working to rescue the affected people and render relief services, including distribution of necessary material to the marooned villagers.