Villagers try to repair a makeshift bamboo bridge during a shower at Dholagaon in Bongaigaon. Picture by UB Photos
Aug. 11: The fresh wave of floods has submerged Upper and lower Assam, affecting 3.54 lakh people in 15 districts.
A state flood bulletin issued today said the number of districts rose to 15 from eight yesterday. The worst affected are Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Tinsukia and Dibrugarh in Upper Assam and Kokrajhar and Bongaigaon in lower Assam.
In Dhemaji, 1.44 lakh people were affected, followed by 33,925 in Kokrajhar, 33,123 in Majuli and 29,312 in Dibrugarh. Altogether 13,743 people were sheltered in 39 relief camps. About 19,481 hectares of cropland in the 15 districts and 11 anti-poaching camps in Dibru Saikhowa National Park in Tinsukia district were submerged.
In Upper Assam. constant rise in the water level of the Brahmaputra and its tributaries inundated new areas, prompting authorities to open 12 more relief camp.
The swollen Brahmaputra, striving to cross its record of 106.48m in Dibrugarh district in 1998, was flowing at 106.40m this evening.
Two more revenue circles were inundated in the district today, taking the number to five - Moran, Chabua, Tengakhat, Dibrugarh East and Dibrugarh West.
Deputy commissioner Laya Madduri said, "We have opened three relief camps, two under Chabua revenue circle and one in Dibrugarh East, which are sheltering 379 people. We have asked for more NDRF and IWT boats."
Sources said 29,312 people in 51 villages of the district were reeling under floods, 250 people were evacuated and 1,547 hectares of cropland were submerged.
In Tinsukia, additional deputy commissioner Partha Bairagi said 18 villages have been flooded, affecting over 15,000 people. Nine relief camps sheltering over 4,000 people have been opened. Sources at the ground level, however, said more than 24 villages have been flooded, affecting 30,000 people. Bairagi said the exact loss of houses and crop would be confirmed only after the water recedes.
SDRF teams evacuated 90 people and tried to provide relief material in various places in the district today. A team of NDRF reached Amarpur in Sadiya subdivision, one of the worst hit in the district. Yesterday, a woman, Junumoni Doley, was swept away there while collecting wood.
In Majuli, floodwaters from the Brahmaputra and the Subansiri inundated 47 revenue villages, affecting 33,123 people.
The administration started rescue operations this morning. Deputy commissioner Pallav Gopal Jha visited Kamalabari ghat upto Selek Breach point. Other officials were also in the field.
In lower Assam, several villages and farmlands in Kokrajhar, Chirang and Bongaigaon districts were under water and embankments had been breached at several places in the past 36 hours.
In Kokrajhar, the Gaurang, Champamati, Sonkosh, Modati, Garuphella and the Saralbhanga were flowing above the danger level. Twenty villages under Kokrajhar and Dotma revenue circles were hit and had lost 5,192 livestock.
In Bongaigaon, 13 villages in Bijni and 35 in Srijangram revenue circles were flooded, affecting 26,000 and 20,000 people respectively. The floodwaters washed away roads at some places and breached an embankment at Balagudam in North Salmara subdivision.
At Paulpara in Bongaigaon town, firemen rescued 110 people from their inundated houses today using a boat. The rescued people were lodged at a relief camp in Paulpara. Incessant rain for the past 24 hours led to overflowing of drains and waterlogged Paglasthan market and low-lying areas in the town.
In Chirang district, several villages - Subaijhar, Tanga-bari, Nowapara, Labdangguri, Kanthalguri, Rabhapara, Khujrabguri, Sanyasiguri, Dhopguri, Naoduba, Samugaon, Goybari and Basbari, were flooded as the Huthuti, Nangalbhanga, Kanamakra and the Taklai swelled in Bhutan. Villagers of Daisunguri, which was completely submerged, were waiting for a rescue team.
The Chirang unit of the All Bodo Student's Union criticised the district administration for not responding to its call to rescue the villagers on time, its general secretary Khanin Basumatary said.