Critical flood situation in Assam, 2.3 million affected, death toll mounts to 104

Critical flood situation in Assam, 2.3 million affected, death toll mounts to 104

The flood situation in India's state of Assam drastically worsened on Saturday and Sunday, August 12 and 13, 2017, after heavy monsoon rains engulfed the region on Friday. At least 5 people died on Saturday and another 15 on Sunday, bringing the death toll in the state to 104 since the start of the monsoon season. Across the country, heavy rains killed least 70 people within just 48 hours. Heavy rains are also affecting neighboring Nepal, where at least 47 people died since Friday, and Bangladesh.

Assam state officials called in army to rescue marooned people in Nagaon and Kokrajhar districts and IAF has been put on standby as Assam reels under one of the worst flood furies. 

"On Assam government's request, IAF has also put its men on standby, their choppers can be deployed in minimum time for air dropping of relief and rescue operations," state project coordinator of disaster management Rajib Prakash Baruah said, as reported by the India Blooms.

Following torrential rains in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram and Bhutan, the water level of Brahmaputra is flowing above danger level marks at Nematighat in Jorhat district, Tezpur in Sonitpur district, Guwahati in Kamrup (Metro) district, Goalpara and Dhubri.

A top official of Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) said the water level of the tributaries of Brahmaputra river and Barak river also flowing above danger level marks in various places in Upper Assam, Middle Assam, Northern Assam, Lower Assam and Barak valley. Meanwhile, the Nagaon district administration had sounded high alert and closed all vehicles movement at NH-37.

At least 20 people have been killed since Friday, August 11 and more than 2 300 000 affected.

Dhubri district is currently the worst hit with 398 000 people affected, 314 000 people are affected in Morigaon, 236 000 in Kokrajhar, 207 000 in Bongaigaon, 184 000 in Barpeta, 163 000 in South Salmara, 144 000 in Dhemaji, 114 000 in Golaghat, according to latest ASDMA figures.

Over 183 000 people were forced to take shelter in 678 relief camps in 15 districts.

India Blooms added that continuous erosion by Kundil river has been causing a serious threat to Panchmile, Lakhimi Gaon, Bogoribari apart from threatening Kundil Bridge. Officials said that dredging of the river Kundil during winter season will be taken up so that the change or river course which has taken place due to persistent erosion can be tackled.

72 hours of rainfall accumulation by 12:00 UTC on August 13, 2017

Credit: NASA/JAXA GPM, Google

Across the country, heavy rains killed least 70 people within just 48 hours.

At least 46 of them died early Sunday when a massive landslide swept away two buses and several vehicles in Himachal Pradesh. In Uttarakhand, a girl was killed and her parents are missing following a landslide that buried their house on Saturday.

The same weather system is dumping heavy rain on neighboring Nepal, where at least 47 people died since Friday, and Bangladesh, where at least 150 000 were marooned.

The death toll in Nepal is expected to rise, with around two dozen other people missing and feared dead.

Featured image: Massive floods hit Assam on August 13, 2017. Credit: All India News Radio

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