59 die as flood situation in Assam remains grim

Picture shows villages in Assam are under water following incessant rains. — courtesy ANI
Picture shows villages in Assam are under water following incessant rains. — courtesy ANI

NEW DELHI — Indian authorities announced on Saturday that floods and subsequent landslides in the northeastern Indian state of Assam led to the death of at least 59 people and affecting about 1.3 million others across 20 districts.

The Press Trust of India (PTI) said on Saturday, quoting the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), “the incessant rains and landslides for the last several days have claimed 59 lives across the state so far.”

Even though floodwaters are receding from a few districts of Assam, the overall situation remained grim with one more death being reported on Friday. The fresh death, reported from Dhubri district, took the toll to 35, officials said, adding the cumulative death figures in flood and landslides have risen to 59.

The ASDMA said the affected districts are: Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Biswanath, Chirang, Darrang, Nalbari, Barpeta, Bongaigaon, Kokrajhar, Dhubri, South Salmara, Goalpara, Kamrup, Kamrup Metropolitan, Morigaon, Nagaon, Golaghat, Jorhat, Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts.

The floodwaters have also killed 41 animals in Kaziranga National Park, a state bulletin said, quoting the DFO of the Eastern Assam Wildlife Division. The flood has also affected 19,14,001 domestic animals and poultry across the state during the last 24 hours, it added.

Moreover thousands of people have been evacuated as 1,636 villages are under water and 67,628.06 hectares of crop areas have been damaged by the torrential rains for last several days. In addition, several roads, bridges, embankments culverts and many other infrastructures have been damaged and rivers are flowing above the danger level in several districts.

Rain also wreaked havoc in other states in India on Saturday. Lightning strikes killed eight people in Bihar on Friday and two minor boys drowned in a rainwater-filled lake in Maharashtra.

Mumbai, meanwhile, received heavy rains with the India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicting intermittent moderate to heavy rainfall and "possibility of very heavy to extremely heavy rainfall at isolated places" on Saturday.

In Bihar, officials said in Patna that at least eight people were killed in in lightning strikes on Friday, a day after 26 died in similar incidents in eight districts of the state.

The IMD has predicted heavy rainfall for Bhopal and Indore on Saturday. Showers were witnessed in several parts of Madhya Pradesh since Thursday evening.

Up north, sultry weather conditions continued to prevail in Haryana and Punjab, with maximum temperatures hovering 3-7 notches above normal limits. Hot and humid weather conditions also prevailed in western region of Rajasthan as southwest monsoon weakened, a MeT department official said. — KUNA/Agencies