| Villagers tread through floodwaters in Barpeta on Monday. Picture by UB Photos |
Barpeta/Nalbari, June 18: The first wave of floods in the state claimed four more lives today, taking the death toll since yesterday to six.
Official sources said altogether 14 of the 27 districts of the state have been affected in the first wave.
Barpeta deputy commissioner Siddhartha Singh told The Telegraph that while four persons lost their lives at Bhella in the district this morning, the body of Jyoti Kalita, 13, a Class VI student, who was washed away by floodwaters, was recovered today.
Manisha Das, 9, died at Nagaon, 5km from Barpeta town, yesterday.
Officials said four members of a family, Rahima Begum, 25, her child, Madhan Begum, 5, Rita Begum, 20 and Halida Begum, 12, lost their lives when they accidentally fell into a deep pond submerged by floodwaters at Bhella.
“The victims were on their way to look up some of their flood-hit relatives at Bhella. They were walking on a narrow road along the pond, which was also submerged by floods. Eyewitnesses said Rahima Bugum, who was carrying Madhan in her lap, first fell into the pond. Seeing this, Rita and Halida tried to rescue them, but they, too, fell in,” the source said.
While Rahima and Madhan died on the spot, Rita and Halida were declared dead at Barpeta Medical College and Hospital.
Singh said the administration had decided to give Rs 5,000 as compensation to families of the flood victims. He said the administration was keeping a watch on the situation and making preparations to meet any eventuality in the days to come.
While more than one lakh people have already been affected by the floods in Barpeta district, most of the tributaries of the Brahmaputra such as Pahumara, Palla, Kaldia, Burhadiya and Tihu are showing a rising trend. The tributaries have breached embankments at several places and caused devastation in the district for the third consecutive day today.
Road communication in most of the areas of the district has been completely disrupted as most of the roads have either been submerged or washed away by floodwaters.
The Kaldiya, Tihu, Pahumara, Palla and Burhadiya rivers have eroded embankments at several places in the district.
However, the Brahmaputra and the Beki have not eroded or breached embankments at any place so far. But the Beki embankment at Narayanguri and the Brahmaputra embankment at Fulbari have become vulnerable because of heavy erosion.
The Sarthebari circle in Barpeta district is the worst affected.
Almost 100 villages under this circle have been submerged by the floodwaters and reports of inundation of new areas are pouring in.
Pisciculture in the district has suffered a major setback with more than 50 per cent of the fisheries being washed away.
Road communication between Howli and Barpeta and Bhabanipur and Barpeta has been disrupted since this morning as both these roads have been submerged by floodwater.