The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Fresh floods in Assam, 2 dead
- Heavy vehicles stranded on NH 37

Sept. 8: Two persons drowned in Dhubri district late last night as the third wave of floods wreaked havoc across the state, forcing the state government to seek the army’s help to rescue marooned people.

Heavy vehicles were stopped from plying on National Highway 37, which links Upper and Lower Assam, since noon today as floodwaters from the Dhansiri pounded a bridge near Jorhat.

“Only small vehicles are allowed to cross it, that too, with caution,” a Golaghat district administration official said.

Night buses plying between Upper and Lower Assam will be diverted through the Numaligarh-Dergaon route, he added.

The Dhansiri, a major tributary of the Brahmaputra, has been flowing almost two metres above the danger level. The Brahmaputra was flowing more than a metre above the danger mark at Dibrugarh and Neemati Ghat in Upper Assam.

Incessant rainfall in the past few days has led to a rapid rise in the water levels of the Brahmaputra and its tributaries. Moreover, no respite is in sight for the next two to three days, sources in the Regional Meteorological Centre said. “The existing weather conditions are likely to continue for another two to three days over the region,” one of them said.

The army has been pressed into service in Lower Assam to rescue marooned people. They will commence rescue work in Cachar from tomorrow. The government has set up several relief camps for people affected by the floods.

Help, however, came too late for Tulu Roy, 50, and Navakanta Roy, 20, residents of Kanuri Part-I village under Golokganj police station in Dhubri district. They drow-ned while collecting jute bundles from the Gangadhar. The bodies are yet to be recovered.

Dhubri deputy commissioner Ganesh Kumar Kalita said since the Gangadhar joins the Brahmaputra close to the Bangladesh border, there was every possibility that the bodies might have been swept across the border. “I have contacted the BSF to keep a watch,” he said.

Elsewhere in the district, the army and the police rescued over 10,000 marooned villagers in Pub Kanuri, Kanuri Part-I and West Ratiadoh, the areas worst affected by floods.

An official monitoring the floods said the situation was worse this time, as the flood control department did not get time to repair the breaches caused during the second wave of floods last month.

The current wave of floods has affected nearly 6,500 villages in the Brahmaputra valley and more than 2.6 lakh people in the Barak valley. The Cachar and Hailakandi districts are the worst hit. Official sources said 290 revenue villages have been inundated and 17,072 hectares of arable land submerged in these two districts.

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