Heavy rain in Bhutan sparks flood fears

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  • Published 15.07.12

Sandrup Jangkhar (Bhutan), July 14: Heavy rain for the past nine days in the foothills of the Himalayan kingdom has sparked fears of fresh flooding in the lower Assam districts of Barpeta, Baksa, Nalbari, Chirang, Udalguri and Bongaigaon, where most areas are still under water.

Sources in Bhutan told The Telegraph that water of the Kurishu river is flowing above the danger level at Narayanguri dam (Bhutan sluice gate), on the Indo-Bhutan border in Baksa district.

Awdesh Kumar, deputy director-general, Regional Meteorological Centre, Guwahati told The Telegraph the weather forecast was that the rains in the foothills of Bhutan would continue for the next few days.

“This is quite natural during this period when there are less rainfall in the plains. We had predicted this trend,” he said. Based on the forecast of Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), heavy to very heavy rainfall will occur in the next few days in Assam, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh.

Kumar said if the rains do not stop, Bhutan would have to open the sluice gate by tomorrow, resulting in water gushing out at 698 cubic metres per second and leading to flooding in Bongaigaon, Chirang, Baksa, Barpeta, Nalbari and Udalguri districts.

Areas like Sishubaari, Nangalbhanga, Deworbil, Souraguri, Sanyasibaari, Dowkha Nagar and Dumgaon in Chirang district and Monakash and Nasonkuri in Bongaigaon district are likely to be affected by the rain. Floodwaters from Bhutan fall into the Ai river affecting Chirang and Bongaigaon districts.

Dispur on Friday sounded out all central security agencies and district administration to be in a state of readiness to tackle any eventuality. So far, 125 persons have died because of flooding and landslides in the state. A boat mishap took place in the Aai in Bongaigaon district yesterday night, which left one dead and eight missing. The deceased has been identified as Abdush Sobhan Ali, 45, a resident of Monakash.

ONGC chairman-cum-managing director Sudhir Vasudeva yesterday handed over a cheque for Rs 1 crore to H.S. Das, resident commissioner and principal secretary, finance for the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund at Assam Bhawan in New Delhi.