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06/07/24 | 2:21 pm

Assam floods: 52 people dead, over 24 lakh affected as crisis deepens

The flood situation in Assam has deteriorated significantly over the past 24 hours, resulting in 52 fatalities and leaving several thousand people homeless, as per ANI. The impact has been widespread, with over 2.4 million people affected across the state. Thirty out of Assam’s 35 districts are severely affected by the second wave of floods, exacerbating the crisis.

Over the past month, the situation has remained dire, claiming lives, damaging infrastructure, and devastating crops and livestock. Thousands of residents are now internally displaced and without homes across the northeastern state.

Thirty-nine-year-old Jubbar Ali, along with his two daughters, wife, and ailing mother, is now taking shelter on an embankment in Assam’s Barpeta district after both floods and river erosion devastated their home.

Just a month ago, Jubbar and his family lived in a concrete house. However, floodwaters forced them to become homeless after the Brahmaputra River swallowed their residence. Initially, they sought refuge in another villager’s house, but floodwaters submerged that house as well. Now, they are living in a makeshift tent on an embankment in the Rowmari Pathar area under the Chenga assembly constituency in Barpeta district.

“Due to erosion, my house was completely destroyed a month ago. Now, my family and I are living in another villager’s house. We have no home. I have two daughters, a mother, and a wife. The house we were staying in is also flooded, and we are now living under a makeshift tent at a relief camp,” Jubbar Ali said.

Jubbar Ali is not alone. Around 100 families in the Rowmari Pathar area face similar problems, having lost their homes to Brahmaputra River erosion over the past 1-2 months.

“Within 1-2 months, around 100 families have lost their homes due to erosion, and now they are living either in relief camps or other safer places. There was a big market here, but it is now in the middle of the Brahmaputra River. The river has swallowed 50 other houses in the last two years. If this erosion continues, our village will become history in the next 2-3 years,” Jubbar Ali added.

“I request the government to save this area and the villagers. Many houses have been damaged in this year’s flood, and people are facing massive problems,” he pleaded.

Approximately 500 families live in the Rowmari Pathar area, and most have lost their lands and homes due to erosion and flood problems. Safikul Alom, another villager, told ANI that more than 100 families have been affected as the river swallowed their homes and lands.

“Around 100-150 houses were destroyed during this flood, and most houses in this village are flooded. We are facing lots of problems, and the erosion and flood problems are not minor issues; they are significant problems. People’s dreams have been shattered. The entire village is now in the middle of the river. People who lost their homes are now living in makeshift tents on the road. If the government takes protective measures here, we will be saved,” Safikul Alom said.

Both river erosion and flooding have become major problems in Barpeta district. The current flood has affected nearly 140,000 people and submerged 179 villages in the district. Additionally, floodwaters have inundated 1,571.5 hectares of crop area. Statewide, over 2.42 million people in 30 districts have been affected so far. Among the worst-hit districts is Dhubri, where 775,721 people have been affected. Agricultural lands have also suffered, with floodwaters submerging 63,490.97 hectares of crop area, and 3,518 villages under 112 revenue circles are affected.

The Brahmaputra River’s water level is above the danger mark at Neamatighat, Guwahati, Goalpara, and Dhubri. Other affected districts include Cachar, Kamrup, Hailakandi, Hojai, Dhubri, Nagaon, Morigaon, Goalpara, Dibrugarh, Nalbari, Dhemaji, Bongaigaon, Lakhimpur, Jorhat, Sonitpur, Kokrajhar, Karimganj, South Salmara, Tinsukia, Charaideo, Barpeta, Karbi Anglong, Golaghat, Sivasagar, Chirang, Majuli, Biswanath, Darrang, Karbi Anglong West, and Kamrup Metropolitan.

In the Kamrup Metropolitan district, one child is missing. Amid the critical flood situation, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma visited Dibrugarh town on Friday to review the flood situation. He toured the affected areas on foot, interacting with residents and engaging with experts to find community-driven solutions to the inundation problem.

Addressing the media on the flood situation, Sarma said, “Currently, the flood situation in Assam is improving, and the water level has decreased. But in areas around the embankment bridge, the flooding situation persists. We are trying to help everybody.”

There has been a power cut in Dibrugarh for the last six days. Regarding the restoration of the power supply, Sarma explained that it had been turned off to prevent electrocution mishaps.

Input: ANI

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Last Updated: 19th Jul 2024