Disasters & Accidents

66 dead, millions affected by monsoon floods in India’s northeast

New Delhi, July 15 (efe-epa).- At least seven more people have died due to floods triggered by monsoon rains in India’s northeast, officials said on Wednesday, taking the toll to 66 from weeks of a torrential downpour.

The Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) said seven more people died in the past 24 hours from flooding and landslides.

The rains have affected over 4.54 million people since the current state of inclement weather began in May, Limpi Talukdar, a Project Officer of ASDMA, told EFE.

Till Tuesday, 59 people died across the state as dozens of disaster response teams were in the worst-hit areas to reach out to the affected population, Talukdar said.

The Brahmaputra, one of the largest rivers in Asia, which flows from Tibet into India and then Bangladesh, was still above the danger level at over a dozen places.

The river has now been in spate for weeks as it burst its banks earlier this week, inundating hundreds of villages.

At least 26 of Assam’s 33 districts have been hit due to torrential rains.

The weather office has sounded a warning that water levels in the Brahmaputra were expected to rise, with more rains predicted over a couple of days.

“The most affected due to the flooding is Barpeta district with 1.17 million population affected as on July 14, 2020,” the ASDMA official said.

Authorities evacuated over 3,000 people in the last 24 hours.

The government has set up nearly 629 relief camps where more than 36,320 people are taking shelter.

Several bridges and thousands of residential houses have collapsed and large swaths of agricultural fields with almost ripe crops have been submerged in rainwater, causing huge losses to farmers.

The floods have also inundated almost 90 percent of Kaziranga National Park, home to rare one-horned rhinos, and a Unesco-declared World Heritage Site.

Over 50 animals have died in the reserve, according to Rathin Barman, in charge of the Center for the Conservation of Wild Life in Assam.

“Many animals were displaced. About 50 of them were rescued and 30 have been released to the wild after treatment and care. The floodwater is receding slowly now,” Barman told EFE.

The floods have also affected 1.3 million pets and poultry across the state.

The disaster struck Assam as the state is in the middle of the Covid-19 crisis.

With nearly 900 fresh cases, the overall tally in the state has crossed 18,500 infections and 46 deaths, according to Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. EFE-EPA


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