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400 000 affected by widespread flooding in India’s state of Assam


Heavy monsoon rains and widespread flooding they caused have already affected approximately 400 000 people in the state of Assam and authorities warn it will only get worse. The worst affected district is Karimganj with 180 000 people affected and 200 submerged villages. IMD warns more rain will hit the state this week and worsen the already critical situation across the state. The death toll has risen to at least 18 since the monsoon rains started. 

Heavy monsoon rains have worsened flooding in Assam as of July 2, 2017, with new areas submerged by the rising waters of the Brahmaputra River and its tributaries. A total of 853 villages in 15 of Assam's 32 districts are currently hit by the flood. The affected districts are Lakhimpur, Jorhat, Chirang, Golaghat, Cachar, Dhemaji, Biswanath, Karimganj, Sonitpur, Hojai, Majuli, Barpeta, Nagaon, Nalbari, and Sivasagar.

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Northeast's biggest city, Guwahati, also came under threat as the water level of the swelling Brahmaputra river crossed the danger level mark on Wednesday afternoon, The Times of India reports. The river was flowing at 49.74 m (163.2 feet), above the danger level of 49.68 m (163 feet), TOI quoted the central water commission.

All ferry services and plying of any private motorboats across the river in the city have been suspended, authorities said.

According to Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), as of July 5, the State Government has opened up 128 relief camps with approximately 41 487 flood-affected people.

ASDMA added that apart from Guwahati, the Brahmaputra river was flowing above danger level marks at Neamatighat (Jorhat), Tezpur (Sonitpur), and at Dhubri (Dhubri). Among the tributaries of Brahmaputra river, the Dikhow river was also flowing above the danger level mark at Sivasagar, the Dhansiri at Numaligarh (Golaghat), the Jia Bharali at N.T.Rd. Xing (Sonitpur) and the Beki at Rd. Bridge (Barpeta) while Kushiyara river in Barak valley was flowing above the danger level mark at Karimganj.

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At least one person has been killed on Wednesday, July 5, raising the death toll since the monsoon rains started to 18. Most people died either because of flooding or electrocution.

More than 16 000 hectares (39 500 acres) of agricultural land has been submerged.

Although the state is already experiencing widespread flooding, the monsoon rainfall is still at normal regional levels for the season. However, heavier rain is expected in the coming days and weeks.

Featured image: Floods hit India's state of Assam – July 2017. Credit: AFP

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