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Flood situation grim in Assam

K Anurag in Guwahati | September 02, 2008 19:55 IST

The flood situation remained grim in Assam on Tuesday, with the deluge inundating 167 villages in the largest river island Majuli besides washing away a baby rhino in Kaziranga National park.

In Majuli, The world's largest fresh water island, 167 villages were under waist-deep water affecting a population of 1.5 lakh and the swirling waters threatening to engulf fresh areas putting into danger the very existence of the island. The army is assisting the government in providing relief to the affected people across the state.

Meanwhile, the river Brahmaputra along with its tributaries was flowing above the danger level in the districts of Dibrugarh, Sonitpur, Dhubri, Jorhat and Kamrup where NH-31 was breached cutting off the north-east region from the rest of the country.

The rising water level inside the Kaziranga Park has already taken toll on its precious rhino population by killing two calves, even as the animals have started moving towards the highlands and artificial platforms in the southern part of the park.

The Park authorities have geared up vigil along the National Highway 37 that forms the southern boundary of the sanctuary, to safeguard flood-hit rhinos and animals that are trying to cross over to the hills to the south of their natural habitat.

A source in Kaziranga Park said that additional staff, from various other divisions of the state forest department have been deployed in the park to prevent poaching.

The park authorities had set up barricades on the adjacent main highway for limiting vehicle speed to 40 kmph.

Additional Reportage: PTI

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