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PIX: Flood situation worsens in Assam; 5 lakh affected

Last updated on: September 23, 2012 18:14 IST

Flood situation worsens in Assam; 5 lakh affected

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The flood situation in Assam has deteriorated with 15 districts reeling under its impact, as large parts of Dibru-Saikhowa and Kaziranga National Park and Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary submerged and five deaths reported so far, official sources said on Sunday.

In Dibru-Saikhowa National Park in upper Assam's Tinsukia district, two elephant calves were on Sunday swept away with the flood waters, submerging a major portion of the park famed for its endangered animal species and wet evergreen forests, sources said.

The surging waters of the swollen rain-fed Brahmaputra and its tributaries overran fresh areas affecting an estimated five lakh people in Dibrugarh, Sonitpur, Tinsukia, Golaghat, Morigaon, Dhemaji, Kamrup (Rural), Lakhimpur, Baksa, Barpeta, Jorhat, Nalbari, Sibsagar and Udalguri districts, the sources said.

In the third wave of floods during the current year, two persons, including a woman, were washed away in Dibrugarh district on Saturday, one person drowned in Demow river in Dhemaji district and two others in Tinsukia district's Dhola area on September 13.

Incessant rains in Arunachal Pradesh, Bhutan foothills and in the state for the last 15 days, have caused the Brahmaputra and its tributaries to rise above the danger level in most places and breach river dykes, embankments and overflow into human habitats and farm land, they said.

With inputs from K Anurag in Guwahati

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Image: Villagers cross a flooded road at Lachi Bishnupur village in Assam.
Photographs: Utpal Baruah/Reuters

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Flood situation worsens in Assam; 5 lakh affected

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In Sonitpur district, the Army and National Disaster Relief Force were assisting the district administration in rescue and relief operations, pressing into service 10 special boats where road communication has been snapped by the deluge, district Deputy Commissioner Tapan Chandra Sarma.

Tinsukia district administration has airlifted 100 marooned people in waterlogged Sadiya subdivision's Paanch Mile area and Army helicopters were airdropping food items there.

In Golaghat district, 75 per cent of the rhino habitat Kaziranga National Park, along with its 126 anti-poaching camps were under water with the animals there forced to take shelter on high platforms constructed inside the park or move across to the hills of Karbi Anglong district, KNP authorities said.

With the water entering the park's four ranges -- Bagori, Burapahar, Kohora and Agoratoli -- security has been stepped up to prevent poaching and time cards issued to control speed of vehicles on National Highway 37 passing along the park, they said.

Stating that deer and other small animals from the park were crossing over to the highlands of Karbi Anglong, they said all the domesticated elephants used for patrolling, survey and park rides by tourists were taken to the neighbouring district for safety.

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Image: A flooded residence in Guwahati on Sunday


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Flood situation worsens in Assam; 5 lakh affected

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Seventy-five per cent of Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, about 30 km east of Guwahati, with a dense population of the Great Indian one-horned rhinoceros, was flooded with the animals taking shelter on high platforms there, forest department sources said.

The alternate Chandrapur highway from Guwahati to Nagaon district through Morigaon was under threat of being breached at Mayong with the Brahmaputra rising alarmingly in the district where around two lakh people are hit by the floods, officials said.

In Dibrugarh district, a number of tea estates were submerged with the flood waters flowing above the roof of some of the labour line houses, officials said.

The 200-year-old district headquarters, Dibrugarh city, was experiencing severe waterlogging due to constant rains with houses in some of the areas under water up to their roofs. Boats were being used for moving around in the police reserve compound, sources said.

Due to breach of the Dibrugarh city protection dyke at Koilaghat area, 40 houses had been washed away by the Brahmaputra, they said.

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Image: A waterlogged street in Guwahati seen on Sunday


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Flood situation worsens in Assam ; 5 lakh affected

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Alleging that the government had failed to take measures against the annual floods and erosion, repair roads, restore disrupted road communication and provide adequate supply of relief material, the flood-hit people across the state have come out in protest blocking highways and burning effigies of local MLA and MP in Majuli island.

Seventy per cent of Majuli, Asia's largest inhabitated river island, in Jorhat district is submerged even as it remained cut off from the mainland with the Brahmaputra in spate and ferry service indefinitely suspended.

Road connection inside the island between its upper and lower portion was disrupted due to the connecting Borbeel PWD road being breached, while the Old Circuit House and several Satras (monastries of Vaishnava Bhakti saint Sri Sri Sankardeb) under flood waters, the sources said.

With the water entering Majuli Jail, the district administration has sounded a red alert and informed the director general of police, Assam, that the prisoners there may be shifted to Jorhat Central Jail if the situation warranted.

Pandu, a suburb of Guwahati, was waterlogged with houses under knee-deep water due to damage to an embankment on the Brahmaputra, they said.

In Nalbari district along the Indo-Bhutan border, eight villages were affected by the Mora Pagladia and Tihu rivers due to rains in the Bhutan foot-hills, they added.


Image: A flood affected woman prepares food inside her submerged hut at Lachi Bishnupur village in Assam
Photographs: Utpal Baruah/Reuters

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