The Telegraph
Monday , August 18 , 2014
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Army out to rescue marooned

- Nagaon, Lakhimpur, Dhemaji and Kokrajhar worst-hit by floods in Assam

Aug. 17: The army was called out to rescue flood-affected villagers in Nagaon district last night as Assam grappled with floods.

According to official sources, more than 3.5 lakh people have been affected by floods in 14 districts in the state so far.

The army rescued 145 people, including 60 children and 55 women, from Kalapani village in Kaliabor revenue circle in Nagaon district in an overnight operation that ended this morning.

Sources said the army was called out by the civil administration to rescue the villagers marooned by floods around 8pm yesterday.

“A flood relief column under Lt Col Pinaki Chakraborty from Misa army camp evacuated the villagers to safety,” an army officer said. The villagers were shifted to a relief camp and provided first aid and relief materials.

In Lakhimpur district, the body of an unidentified man, who appears to be in his early 30s, was found floating in flood waters in the Pasnoi area while Safiqul Islam, 27, died of diarrhoea at Dakhinpandua village in Naoboicha Assembly constituency today.

Nearly 50 villages remained submerged because of a breach in an embankment at two places at Ranganadi. A 12-year-old child was washed away in the area on Friday owing to an embankment breach.

Chief minister Tarun Gogoi today directed the revenue and disaster management department to immediately take all necessary measures for rescue, relief and rehabilitation of the flood-hit people.

He also asked the water resources department to take all possible steps to prevent floods and erosion in vulnerable areas.

In Dhemaji, which is among the worst affected districts, the flood situation continued to be grim as 225 villages remained under water.

Dhemaji deputy commissioner Monalisha Goswami said as there was no rain in the last 24 hours, the water level of the Brahmaputra has receded by two inches.

Surging waters of the Brahmaputra entered Sissiborgoan revenue circle in Dhemaji district because of an embankment breach at Rekhachapori near Deorighat.

Goswami said medical staff were sent to the affected areas and relief materials distributed.

“Necessary arrangements have also been made for supplying fresh drinking water. We are on alert round-the-clock to meet any eventuality,” she said.

Some flood-affected people, however, complained of insufficient relief materials. A large number of people have taken shelter on dykes.

A team of BJP Dhemaji district committee, led by Ashwini Pait, today visited the flood-affected areas of the district.

Around six villages were affected in flash floods in Kokrajhar district in lower Assam affecting around 200 families. Incessant rain in the last few days and rising water level of the Saralbhanga river have inundated several villages in the district.

Six villages — Nepalibasti, North Banglajora, South Banglajorah, Khacibari, Uttar Patgaon and Adivasibasti — under the Dotma development block were flooded, affecting 195 families and damaging thousands of hectares of standing crops. The rise in water level in these rivers is attributed to heavy rainfall in the upstream areas in Bhutan where these rivers originate.

A villager said flood waters had forced them to move to safer places.

The district administration and Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) leaders have visited the area to take stock of the situation.

According to a source in the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), around 70 per cent area of Kaziranga National Park has been inundated, forcing the animals to migrate to higher grounds on the southern fringes of the park.

“About 50 per cent area of the Dibru Saikhowa National Park, mainly the Guijan range, was submerged by flood waters but there has not been any report of animal casualty so far,” the ASDMA source said.

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