At least 70 killed as heavy monsoon rains hit Assam, India

At least 70 killed as heavy monsoon rains hit Assam, India

Incessant monsoon rains continue to affect India's Assam state, with more than 1.2 million people in 24 out of 33 districts affected as of Sunday, July 12, 2020. Four more people died over the weekend due to rain-related incidents, pushing the death toll to 70.

According to the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), 224 relief camps have been set up in 16 districts, where 21 071 people were taking shelter. The state is currently facing its third bout of monsoon rains.

Almost 1.3 million people have been affected in 2 015 villages and localities across 24 of the state's 33 districts.

Extensive flooding has been reported in the following districts: Lakhimpur, Biswanath, Sonitpur, Udalguri, Darrang, Baksa, Nalbari, Chirang, Bongaigaon, Kokrajhar, Dhubri, Goalpara, Kamrup, Morigaon, Nagaon, West Karbi Anglong, Golaghat, Jorhat, Majuli, Sivasagar, Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, with Dhemaji and Barpeta among the worst-hit.

Massive landslides have also been reported in Sonitpur, Nagaon, Udalguri, Chirang, and Baksa districts, ASDMA added.

On Sunday, two fatalities each were reported in the Nagaon District and Jorabat on the outskirts of Kamrup District, making the death toll climb to 70-- 44 of which died in floods and 26 in landslides.

Personnel of the National Disaster Response Force and the State Disaster Response Force, as well as some locals, were involved in rescue operations.

At Kaziranga National Park, floodwaters have submerged much of the area. Many wild animals have taken shelter in highlands. 41 animals have perished, including a rhino, wild buffalo, swamp deer, wild boars, and hog deers. 

Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal ordered ministers and officials to assess the affected areas and the damage. He also instructed the repair of embankments damaged by floodwater.

A severe flood warning has been issued in the state, as well as neighboring Arunachal Pradesh, after the water levels of Brahmaputra River surpassed the danger mark.

The Brahmaputra is flowing above the danger level at the districts of Guwahati, Dibrugarh, Dhubri, Goalpara, Jorhat, and Sonitpur.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a red alert for northeastern states, with heavy to very heavy spells of rain forecast for the north, western, central, and northeastern regions of the country until July 15 or 16.

Featured image credit: India Red Cross Society Assam State Branch

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