Aug. 16: Two children were washed away by floodwaters in Assam in the past 24 hours — one at Naoboisa in Upper Assam’s Lakhimpur district last night and the other, 13-year-old Bharat Basumatary, at Kampur in Nagaon district today.
The daily flood bulletin of Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) in Guwahati said 2,005,561 people in 791 villages in 14 districts have been affected — Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Jorhat, Tinsukia, Sivasagar, Sonitpur, Nagaon, Nalbari, Barpeta, Chirang, Morigaon, Karbi Anglong, Udalguri and Kokrajhar.
Dhemaji is the worst affected with 87,729 people hit by the deluge. The administration has opened seven relief camps in the district.
Dhemaji deputy commissioner Monalisha Goswami said 225 villages under Dhemaji, Sissiborgaon and Jonai revenue circles had been affected and 8,880 hectares of crops had been damaged. She said a relief camp had been set up in the area but the inmates had to be shifted to a higher place as floodwaters had entered the school. Relief materials, including rice, pulses and salt, were being distributed and tarpaulin was being provided for shelter. Many flood-affected people, however, remained in their chang ghar (houses constructed on bamboo platforms).
She said officials were monitoring rescue operations and country boats had been requisitioned to evacuate people as the water level of the Brahmaputra and its tributaries was rising and new villages were inundated. A district administration official said 13 roads and embankments had been breached.
Lakhimpur deputy commissioner Gaurab Bothra told The Telegraph over phone that the flood situation was grim but rescue operation was on and relief materials were being distributed among the affected families.
In Sonitpur district, floodwaters had affected Bordoloni, Botamuli and Paken panchayats under Gohpur subdivision.
In Nagaon, rising waters of the Borapani had inundated at least 20 villages situated along the district’s boundary with Karbi Anglong.
The flood bulletin said the Brahmaputra was flowing above the danger level at Dibrugarh, Neematighat in Jorhat and Tezpur in Sonitpur district while the Desang at Nangamurghat in Sivasagar district, the Dhansiri at Numaligarh in Golaghat district, the Jia Bharali at N.T. Road in Sonitpur district, the Puthimari in Kamrup district and the Beki in Barpeta district were reported to have crossed the danger mark today.
A source in the Central Water Commission (CWC) in Jorhat said the Brahmaputra was flowing at 86.33m in Neematighat (danger level: 85.04m), at 105m in Dibrugarh (danger level: 105.62m) and at 77.42m in Numaligarh (danger level: 77.16m). P. Sharma, a CWC official posted at Badatighat near Bihpuria, said over phone that the Subansiri was flowing at 82.33m at 3pm (danger level: 82.53m).
The CWC source, however, said the Brahmaputra was showing a falling trend at Dibrugarh and Numaligarh and floodwaters were receding at Majuli while the Subansiri, a tributary of the Brahmaputra, was showing a rising trend. The sub-divisional authorities were on alert with food and drinking water supplies kept ready on the island.
Altogether 17,104 hectares of cropland have been damaged by floodwaters, the bulletin said. It, however, did not mention the death of the two children.
“The deaths are normally reported either after the body is found or is confirmed by the magistrate or are reported to the district administration by local police,” a source in the ASDMA said.
The bulletin said at least 17 relief camps had been set up by district administrations — seven in Dhemaji, eight in Kokrajhar and two in Udalguri where 9,161 flood-hit people have taken shelter.
The inland water department (Guwahati division) today temporarily suspended plying of all boats on the Brahmaputra because of the rising water level.
The Assam State Transport Corporation will ply buses for passengers of Guwahati and North Guwahati till the water level comes down to normal.