BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
Guwahati, July 13: The overall flood situation in the State continued to be critical on Thursday, even though the number of rivers flowing above danger level has come down from 10 to 5 in the last 24 hours. However, with 5 more deaths reported – one each in Golaghat, Lakhimpur and Nagaon districts and two in South Salmara – the death toll has risen to 49.
According to the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) bulletin of Thursday afternoon, 17,43,119 people in 2,450 villages under 81 revenue circles across 26 districts have been affected by the current spell of floods. Altogether, 10,716 people have been evacuated to safety by rescue teams, while 86,223 hectares of crop area has been damaged. Further, 1,277 houses have been completely damaged, while 2,108 have been partially damaged.
While the Brahmaputra was flowing above danger mark at five places, the Buridihing, Desang, Dhansiri and Beki rivers too were maintaining upward trend by flowing above their danger levels.
Altogether 28,937 people are currently taking shelter in 123 relief camps, while 176 boats have been pressed in rescue operations. As for Kaziranga National Park, 77% of its area is under water, affecting 134 anti-poaching camps.
Meanwhile, Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju visited flood-affected areas of Dhemaji and Lakhimpur districts on Thursday. He was accompanied by State Cultural Affairs Minister Naba Kumar Doley and Lakhimpur Lok Sabha MP Pradan Baruah. Rijiju also visited Bogolijan where surging waters of the Ranganadi breached a key embankment two days back and threatened to enter Lakhimpur town.
During Rijiju’s visit to some of the relief camps, the inmates complained about lack of pure drinking water and adequate ration.
On the other hand, Minister for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Dr Jitendra Singh on Thursday called up Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and expressed concern over the damage caused by the devastating floods. He also conveyed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s deep anguish for the loss of lives and property in the current wave of floods in the State.
Singh also informed Sonowal that the Prime Minister had entrusted him with full responsibility to extend all possible help from the Centre and help the State government tide over the impact of floods.
On his part, Sonowal directed the Resident Commissioner of Assam Bhawan, New Delhi to liaise with the DoNER Ministry and furnish a detailed account of the loss in terms of lives and properties incurred during the current wave of floods.
Union Home Minister Raj Nath Singh also spoke to Sonowal, expressing concern over the flood situation and declared Centre’s readiness to help the State.