Guwahati: Assam’s flood situation remained grim as seven more people died due to the calamity on Thursday taking the toll to 108, while Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma made an aerial survey of severely affected Silchar town.
The total population affected by the current wave of flood, however, registered a decline to 45.34 lakh in 30 districts from Wednesday’s 54.50 lakh in 32 districts, according to a bulletin of the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA).
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the Centre is continuously monitoring the flood situation in Assam and is working closely with the state government to provide all assistance to overcome the challenge.
“Army and NDRF teams are present in the flood affected areas. They are conducting evacuation operations and assisting those who are affected. The Air Force has conducted over 250 sorties as a part of the evacuation process,” he said.
The seven new deaths – two each from Cachar and Barpeta and one each from Bajali, Dhubri and Tamulpur districts – were reported during the day taking the total number of deaths since mid-May to 108. Brahmaputra and Barak rivers along with their tributaries are in spate in most of the affected districts as vast tracts of land remained inundated though in some places water had receded.
After making the aerial survey, the CM reviewed the flood scenario in the Barak Valley region and announced that additional columns of the Army will be sent to Silchar town for evacuation of the marooned people there.
“The NDRF, SDRF, Army and other agencies are conducting rescue operations. But additional Army columns will arrive tomorrow to evacuate the marooned people,” Sarma told reporters outside the Deputy Commissioner’s office at Silchar in Cachar district after the review meeting. He, however, did not specify the number of columns that will be deployed.
Sarma said that 30 packets containing food, water bottles and other essential items were airdropped on Thursday at different places of flood-hit Silchar by IAF helicopters and this will continue for the next few days. He said that more water bottles from Guwahati will be airlifted to Silchar as clean drinking water supply is scarce and “we plan to airdrop one lakh bottles of drinking water daily”.
Power supply was disrupted in several parts of the town but it has been restored in some areas while engineers from the Assam Power Distribution Company Limited (APDCL) will reach Silchar from Guwahati.
“But there is a risk in repairing the transformers submerged in water,” Sarma said. Ten more officers will join others on Friday to help the district administration in providing relief to the affected people.
The CM also directed it to prepare ward-wise micro-level plans for Silchar town with the help of local people and public representatives. Three districts of Barak Valley- Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj – were severely affected by the rising water of the Barak and Kushiara rivers while Silchar town was submerged due to the breach of an embankment.
However, the worst affected districts are Barpeta with 10,32,561 people suffering due to the flood followed by Kamrup (4,29,166), Nagaon (5,03,308) and Dhubri (3,99,945), according to an ASDMA bulletin. Urban flooding was reported from Cachar, Darrang, Goalpara, Karimganj and Morigaon.
The devastating floods, caused by incessant rainfall, have affected 103 revenue circles and 4536 villages, while 2,84,875 inmates have taken shelter in 759 relief camps, it said. Relief materials were distributed from 636 delivery points among flood-hit people who have not taken shelters in the relief camps.
The floods have also damaged 173 roads and 20 bridges while two embankments were breached in Baksa and Darrang districts each and three were damaged.
Crop area of 100869.7 hectares and 33,77,518 animals have been affected in this second wave of floods while 84 animals were washed away during the day.
Large-scale erosion was also reported from Baksa, Barpeta, Biswanath, Bongaigaon, Chirang, Dhubri, Kokrajhar, Lakhimpur, Morigaon, Nalbari, Sonitpur, Tamulpur and Udalguri.