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Floods inundate Assam districts

- Heavy rain in Arunachal affects several villages in Lakhimpur, Dhemaji

Guwahati, July 23: Heavy rain in the hills of neighbouring Arunachal Pradesh has triggered flash floods in Upper Assam’s Lakhimpur and Dhemaji districts.

Sources told The Telegraph today that at least 50 villages in Lakhimpur district were inundated as water level of Gabhoru and Dhekiajuli rivers had risen suddenly following last night’s heavy rain in the upper reaches of Arunachal Pradesh.

“The water level of the two rivers suddenly increased in the wee hours and entered the villages around 6am. There was waist-deep water in some villages till 11am. At least 250 families in 30 odd villages under Niz Laluk and Uttar Laluk gaon panchayats were affected in the flash floods,” an official of Lakhimpur district administration said. The water, however, receded around noon.

The official said stretches of two roads constructed under the Prime Minister’s Gram Sadak Yojana connecting NH 15 with the villages were also partially damaged in the flash floods. “The water level was not very high but strong currents damaged portions of two culverts under Niz Laluk and Uttar Laluk panchayats. Maximum damage was caused to crops and paddy saplings in many villages,” the official said.

Some of the Lakhimpur villages affected by today’s floods include Kongari Chuburi, Gormur Muslimgaon, Gobindapur, Torajuli, Tanika Baromile, Padumoni, Paschim Laluk and Kathoni.

“No relief materials reached the villages though the water receded by noon. People will continue to suffer for a long time as their crops were destroyed in today’s floods. The district administration should do an assessment of the damage and compensate the villagers, mostly farmers,” Raktim Saikia, a local student leader, said.

This was the fourth wave of floods that hit the area this monsoon season. The flood bulletin of Assam State Disaster Management Authority yesterday said over 400 people in seven villages in Dhemaji and Jonai subdivision (in Dhemaji district) were affected by floods. Over 33 hectares of cropland were also damaged. It said the Brahmaputra at Nimatighat in Jorhat district was flowing above the danger level.

Lakhimpur and Dhemaji are the two worst flood-affected districts in Assam. One person was washed away by floodwaters of Dimow river in Dhemaji district earlier this month while over 11,000 people were hit by the deluge. Many in Dhemaji district had to leave their homes as the Dimow and Simen rivers inundated villages under Jonai and Dhemaji subdivisions.