Guwahati: The death toll in floods and landslides in Assam has risen to 15 with four more deaths reported on Monday from Goalpara, Morigaon, Nagaon and Hailankandi districts. Till last reports came in, 13 people have died in the second wave of floods, and two others in landslides triggered by heavy rainfall.
Nearly 43 lakh people have been affected in floods across 30 districts, almost 10 lakh people have been hit in Barpeta district alone. According to the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), a total of 4,157 villages under 113 revenue circles have been submerged by the steadily increasing level of the Brahmaputra river and its tributaries.
In the midst of heavy floods, there was also some dramatic rescue. State health officials helped a woman deliver a baby on a country boat at Bokakhat in Golaghat district. An accredited social health activist (ASHA), Manju Chetry, helped the woman deliver a baby boy weighing 3.4kg.
“They were on their way from the village to the wellness centre here, but realised that it would be late till they reach. So, with the help of a community health officer under Bokakhat BPHC and an ASHA worker, a successful delivery was conducted on the boat itself. Later, the mother and child were referred to the Bokakhat Sub-Divisional Civil Hospital. They are doing well,” said Golaghat Deputy Commissioner Dhiren Hazarika.
Heavy rains led to washed out roads in several places. In Dhubri, people who have settled near the railway lines were seen carrying tin sheets and plastics to build temporary shelters on the railway tracks. Several of them made an abandoned truck their temporary base to escape floods.
“Things are in a bad shape, we are taking shelter in the railway tracks. We saw a train approaching in the morning,” said one of the flood victims.
Along the India-Bangladesh border in Dhubri and Karimganj, some of the Border Security Force (BSF) outposts and a Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) camp have been inundated by rising water levels of rivers, making it difficult for the personnel on duty. Despite all hurdles, SSB personnel were seen standing guard in almost 2 feet deep water.
The ASDMA report on Monday stated that 83,180 people were taking shelter in 183 relief camps across 26 districts. A total of 311 relief distribution centres have been stocked with rice, dal, salt, mustard oil, wheat bran supplies, besides baby food, tarpaulin, cattle feed, sanitary napkins and other essentials for flood-affected people.
As many as 17 animal deaths were reported from national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in the past 48 hours. According to officials, more than 90% of Kaziranga National Park and 158 of the 199 anti-poaching camps are submerged in water. Even as time cards have been issued, eight hog deer and a Sambar were killed by speeding vehicles, while 14 animals have been rescued by forest officials and Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC) members with the help of locals.
The Brahmaputra and its tributaries are flowing above the danger level in several places. Teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), assisted by the civil administration, are engaged in rescue and relief operations in the flood-affected areas.
As many as 380 boats have been deployed for rescue work and 15,583 people have been evacuated to safety, so far. The Indian Army has also been assisting SDFR and civil administration in rescue operations.