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Children, deer in toll count

- 20000 villagers at Dikhowmukh in Sivasagar district marooned in floods
Huts submerged in floodwaters at a village in Sivasagar district on Tuesday. Picture by UB Photos

Jorhat, June 26: The flood situation in Assam continued to be grim with more than 20,000 people in nearly 50 villages at Dikhowmukh in Sivasagar district left inundated today after the Brahmaputra breached embankments in at least two places last night.

Official sources said two children died because of the floods — one in Sivasagar district and another in Dibrugarh — in Upper Assam since yesterday.

The three national parks, Dibru-Saikhowa, Kaziranga and Orang located on the bank of the Brahmaptura, have been submerged, forcing the animals to flee to safer locations. A barking deer died at Dibru-Saikhowa this morning.

The breach in the embankment has also threatened the Ajanpir darga at Xoraguri chapori. Floodwaters have submerged the premises of the dargah.

A district administration official said rescue operations were on with the help of the army. Ten relief camps have been set up at various locations, he said.

The official said there were reports of large number of cattle population being swept away by the floodwaters.

Nearly 14 villages at Amarpur in Tinsukia district have been marooned since yesterday as gushing waters of the Brahmaputra made it impossible to carry out rescue operations.

“Rescue operations are simply impossible because of the water current. Hence, we have air-dropped relief materials to these villagers,” the sub-divisional officer of Sadiya, Kishore Thakuria, told The Telegraph.

Ferry services between Sadiya and Dhola in Tinsukia district remained suspended for the third day today cutting off large areas of the neighbouring Arunchal Pradesh with the mainland.

Majuli also continues to reel under floodwaters for the third day today affecting more than 100 villages. Hundreds of cattles have been swept away in Salmara, Besamari and Bonoria chaporis since last night.

The Brahmaputra is flowing more than one-and-a-half metres above the danger level at Neemati ghat today resulting in suspension of ferry service between Majuli and the mainland for the second consecutive day.

A sub-divisional administration official said relief and rescue operations were hampered as the link with the mainland had snapped since yesterday.

The official said although 10 relief camps have been set up at various locations on the island, most of the flood-affected people were taking shelter on the embankment.

More than 35 villages in east and west circles in Dibrugarh district have been inundated by floodwaters, as the Brahmaputra continues to flow above the danger level near the town.

A district administration official, however, said as of now there was no threat of the river breaching the embankment.

National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams, including deep divers, have been pressed into service in different parts of Tinsukia, Dhemaji, Lakhimpur and Sonitpur districts.

The teams, led by Alok Kumar Singh, commandant, 1st battalion, have evacuated more than 800 families to safer places and is assisting the administration in taking the relief materials and medical help to the inaccessible flood-affected areas.

About 300 more NDRF personnel are being airlifted from Calcutta to augment the rescue efforts.

In lower Assam, two embankments were breached today in Nalbari and Baksa district.

The Beki river had breached an embankment at Suwagpur in the Goreswar area of Baksa district while the Pagladiya breached another at Pakhura in Nalbari district.

The Opposition AGP accused Dispur of not providing any relief materials to the flood victims and demanded that chief minister Tarun Gogoi cut short his US visit to take stock of the situation.

Gogoi left for the US last week, along with state revenue and disaster management minister Prithibi Majhi and other state government officials.

“At a time when lakhs of people have been rendered homeless and hectares of cropland damaged, the head of the state, his colleague Majhi, all top officials responsible for the disaster management are touring the US for reasons best known to them. Till this date not a single flood relief material has been distributed among the victims,” Durga Das Boro, one of the general secretaries of the AGP, said.

Boro said if Gogoi was so interested in making foreign trips at government expenditure, he should have taken the responsibility of an ambassador to a foreign country instead of being a chief minister.

He said Gogoi had made six foreign trips in the last 13 months.


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