In this photo taken on 17 July 2019, a herd of wild buffalos wade through floodwaters at the flood affected area of Kaziranga National Park in the India's northeast state of Assam.  (Photo: AFP)
In this photo taken on 17 July 2019, a herd of wild buffalos wade through floodwaters at the flood affected area of Kaziranga National Park in the India's northeast state of Assam. (Photo: AFP)

Over 69 people, 204 animals killed as flood situation continues to worsen in Assam

  • Nearly 248 houses have been damaged and more than 200,000 people accommodated in 836 relief camps
  • Animals have moved to the park boundaries and some have even attempted to cross the park

New Delhi: Flood situation in Assam continues to aggravate with as many as 69 lives lost in the rising waters across the state, which has been under a spell of extremely heavy rainfall this monsoon season.

The monsoon rainfall has wreaked havoc in the famed Kaziranga National Park, killing as many as 209 animals in the 430 square km park situated along the Brahmaputra river. The casualty has been the highest among Hog deers, small deers with unusually large round ears. A total of 111 Hog deers, 18 Wildboars, 17 Rhinos, 12 Sambars, seven Swamp Deers, three porcupine, two water buffaloes and one elephant has drowned in the submerged park.

Animals have moved to the boundaries of the park and some have even attempted to cross the park to reach nearby higher grounds. As many as 16 Hog deers and one Sambhar was killed after they got hit by vehicles on the national highway-37 bordering the park, as per the data shared by the state government.

The forest officials with the help of local people have been trying to rescue as many animals as they can. As on Tuesday, at least 64 animals have been rescued. Five animals who were rescued and put under care, however succumbed.

The flood waters have destroyed several lakh hectares of cropland across the state, damaging houses, embankments and other buildings. The road connectivity to some far-off villages has also been affected.

According to the latest Central Water Commission (CWC) report river Manas, Beki and Gaurang which are tributaries of the mighty Bhahmaputra river are flowing in severe flood situation in the districts of Baksa, Kamrup, Nalbari, Barpeta, Kokrajhar and Dhubri.

The CWC has directed authorities to step up the disaster relief measures, as rivers- Aie, Champamati, Gaurang, Manas and Beki are currently flowing very near to their Highest Flood Level and may flow above the level also during the next 24 hours.

On Tuesday, the state received 42.9 mm rainfall against the normal of 13.5 mm during the 24 hours. Meghalaya too received 86.6 mm against the normal of 23.8 mm during the day. Western Assam districts have been the worst hit.

The state weather department has predicted heavy rainfall at isolated places to continue over the next three days, however, the forecast by India Metrological Department (IMD), has indicated that the intensity of rainfall over Assam, Meghalaya and Sikkim could reduce after Thursday.

“There is a likely southward shift of the monsoon trough (a low pressure area associated with rainfall) and probable formation of a low pressure area over coastal areas of West Bengal around 26 July," stated IMD in its forecast. This would lead to increase in rainfall intensity over Central India, adjoining northern parts of peninsular India and along the northern plains, starting Wednesday.

The situation remains grim in Bihar as well, where rivers Bagmati, Adhwara Group, Kamla Balan, Kosi and Mahananda continue to flow in severe to above normal flood situation. “This is likely to continue for another two-three days and then slowly recede as rainfall activity has been forecasted to reduce," as per CWC.

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