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Dhemaji turns waterworld
Gogoi push to relief work

torrential rain in arunachal wreaks havoc in assam

Villagers travel by boat through floodwaters in Gagalmari village in Morigaon district of Assam on Sunday. (AFP)

Flood facts

Deaths: 10
Affected districts: 15
Affected villages: 1066
Affected people: Nearly 6 lakh
Cropland affected: 90867 hectares
Relief camps: 118

Dhemaji, Aug. 24: Torrential rainfall in the hills of Arunachal Pradesh is causing havoc in Assam’s Dhemaji district, with floodwaters submerging around 80 per cent of the district area.

Dhemaji deputy commissioner Monalisha Goswami said, “Barring Dhemaji, Jonai, Simenchapori, Silapathar and Gogamukh towns, almost 80 per cent of area in the district is under water. We have stepped up relief and rehabilitation.”

The Brahmaputra and its tributaries are still flowing above danger level with the rain not relenting. According to sources in the water resources department in Dhemaji, the Brahmaputra is flowing at 106.25metres, 1.82metres above danger level.

The Brahmaputra is flowing above the danger level at Neematighat in Jorhat, Dhubri and Dibrugarh, while its tributaries — the Jia Bharali in Sonitpur, the Kopili at Kamrup and the Beki in Barpeta — are in spate.

In Neematighat, the Brahmaputra is flowing at a high flood level of 86.92m, according to the Central Water Commission. It has already crossed the danger level of 85.04m.

Water flowing down from the flood-hit East Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh has worsened the situation in Dhemaji inundating gaon panchayats like Jonai-Sengajan, Mukthiar, Lower Tongani, Amguri, Sissiborgaon, Borlung, Majarbari, Ghilamara and Maskhowa.

Twenty houses were washed away at Rekhachapori under Mukhtiar panchayat today.

Parts of the newly built National Highway 52(B) at Pityang Chapori, the Kulajan-Bogibeel service road at Kebaranga under Ujani Sissi Tongani and National Highway 52 at Kulajan are under water affecting communication in the area. Worse still, the Kebaranga bridge connecting Bogibeel service road to NH 52 has been damaged.

Communication between Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Dibrugarh and parts of Arunachal Pradesh has been adversely affected.

Apart from Dhemaji, 14 other Assam districts — Jorhat, Dibrugarh, Golaghat, Sivasagar, Sonitpur, Lakhimpur, Nalbari, Barpeta, Bongaigaon, Morigaon, Kamrup, Dhubri, Kokrajhar and Karbi Anglong — have been affected by the current wave of floods.

The flood situation in Jorhat district has turned grim with 135 villages hit by floods, with 52 villages inundated in Jorhat sadar sub-division. Altogether 83 villages have been inundated in Majuli affecting about 50,000 people, according to the latest figures released by the Jorhat district administration this evening.

Dushyanta Madhab Sarmah, who is in-charge of the district information and the publicity relations officer, said round-the-clock monitoring of the situation was being done by deputy commissioner Solanki Vishal Vasant and senior officials. Vasant said over 80,000 people have been affected in the district. He said about 30,000 people under Teok revenue circle, Jorhat (east revenue circle) and Jorhat (west revenue circle) have been hit by the deluge.

According to the Assam State Disaster Management Authority, 10 people have died and as many as 5.42 lakh affected by the floods.

In view of the deteriorating flood situation, Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi today directed the revenue and disaster management department to rescue the marooned people and gear up relief and rehabilitation on a war-footing.

In a statement today, Gogoi directed chief secretary Jitesh Khosla and additional chief secretary, revenue and disaster management, Subhash Chandra Das, to take all possible measures to rescue the marooned people and step up relief and rehabilitation.

Gogoi also directed the water resources department to take up anti-erosion measures especially on the breached embankments.

The Dhemaji district administration along with the National Disaster Response Force has deployed boats to rescue affected people. The army, too, has been pressed into service for rescue operations in Sissiborgaon circle of the district.

The flood-hit people are taking shelter at relief camps in Akajan Tribal Girls’ High School and Akajan High School, Sitaram Taye High School and Society ME School near Silapathar.

In Dibrugarh, Lezai Kolakhowa has been the worst affected with people forced to shift to safer places.

“Owing to flood and erosion for the past few years on the Dihing river, Kolakhowa, Chalkhowa, Barua gaon and Lezai Kolakhowa are facing submergence. Dulijan Tipling village has lost 500 bighas of land to erosion till now. Every year, several acres of agriculture land are eroded by the river,’’ a source said.


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