Home >politics >policy >Assam flood situation worsens; animals from sanctuaries flee to highways

Guwahati: Two people died on Tuesday and around 16 lakh people at 19 districts of Assam are affected by flood as the water level of the Brahmaputra and its tributaries continue to rise, submerging houses, farmlands and wildlife sanctuaries.

One person died at Mayong in Morigaon district and another at Lakhipur in Goalpara district, Assam State Disaster Management Authority said on Tuesday.

Nearly 2,700 villages in 71 revenue circles are inundated in Lakhimpur, Golaghat, Bongaigaon, Jorhat, Dhemaji, Sivasagar, Barpeta, Kokrajhar, Nagaon, Dibrugarh, Chirang, Goalpara, Tinsukia, Dhubri, Morigaon, Sonitpur, Biswanath, Darrang and Nalbari districts, the ASDMA said.

Over 80% of rhino habitat Kaziranga National Park is flooded and the rising water level caused large scale migration of hog deer across National Highway-37 to the highlands of Karbi Anglong hills, KNP divisional forest officer Suvasish Das said.

A few rhinos have also moved there and they are being constantly monitored, he said. Altogether 34 hog deer were rescued on Monday, and on Tuesday while four died after being hit by vehicles as they were crossing NH-37.

Three also got drowned on Monday, Das said. A rhino calf and a juvenile fishing cat were also rescued on Tuesday, he added. Of the 178 anti-poaching camps in the World Heritage Site, 129 were inundated with flood water reaching the base of the camps.

The forest staff of KNP’s Agoratoli Range rescued 70 people from two submerged villages, the DFO said. As Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, the densest habitat of one-horned rhinos, in Morigaon district is completely under flood water, forest minister Pramila Rani Brahma rushed there to take stock of the situation.

The minister directed forest officials to take additional measures for protection of wild animals, particularly of those that came out due to the flood, officials of Pobitora said. Meanwhile, Morigaon district administration has provided two mechanized boats to Pobitoara for anti-poaching vigil even as five anti-poaching camps are damaged there.

The army, SDRF and NDRF were assisting district administrations in evacuating the affected population to safer places, the ASDMA said.

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