The situation in Assam deteriorated Monday as floodwaters submerged 30 of the 33 districts in Assam and death toll increased to 15, even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi took stock of the situation and assured of all assistance from the Centre. Altogether 42.87 lakh people in 4,157 villages are reeling under the impact of the floods that have submerged 1,53,211 hectares of farm land in 30 districts, according to the daily report of the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA).
One death each was reported from Goalpara, Morigaon, Nagaon and Hailakandi districts, taking the toll to 15 so far, it said.
Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal briefed the prime minister over phone about the current situation and the relief, rescue and rehabilitation work undertaken by the state government.
Modi assured Sonowal of all assistance from the central government in dealing with the situation, an official said.
The ASDMA report said embankments, roads, bridges, culverts and many other infrastructure have been damaged at various places in Sonitpur, Golaghat, Jorhat, Baksa, Dibrugarh, Nalbari, Hojai, Morigaon, Lakhimpur, Darrang, Nagaon, Kamrup, Barpeta, Dhubri, Majuli, Karimganj, Sivasagar, Hailakandi and South Salmara districts, officials said.
Massive erosion has been witnessed in Udalguri, Barpeta and Sonitpur districts.
Brahmaputra has been rising menacingly above the danger level across the state, swelling up in Guwahati and overflowing its bank in the Uzan Bazar area, the officials said.
Sonowal visited flood-hit Nalbari district and the Solmara flood relief camp on Monday.
Even as the NDRF and the SDRF continued their rescue operations, the Baksa district administration sought the Army’s help to evacuate stranded people in Balipur Char village, inundated by the Beki river.
The troops along with civil administration evacuated 150 stranded villagers and shifted them to flood relief shelters in Odalguri village, defence sources said.
An NDRF release said the force rescued more than 2,500 people from flood-affected areas in Baksa, Morigaon, Golaghat, Barpeta and Kamrup districts since July 11.
At present, 15 teams of the NDRF with 38 deep divers, 48 IRB boats and other life-saving aids are deployed, said the release, quoting R S Gill, Officiating Commandant, 1st Battalion NDRF.
Meanwhile, flood waters have submerged major portions of Kaziranga, Pobitora and Manas rhino habitats, forcing the animals to take shelter in the artificial highlands for safety.
A release by the Assam Ministry of Forest and Environment said about 90 per cent of Kaziranaga National Park is presently inundated.
Though 155 of the 199 anti-poaching camps of the park are affected by flood waters, the staff and security personnel are discharging their duty using mechanised and country boats, it said.
A special rhino protection force has also been deployed in vulnerable locations of the park.
Bokakhat, through which National Highway-37 passes, has been cut off from the entire upper Assam due to floodwaters, the release said.
The Golaghat district administration has banned movement of vehicles at Numaligarh and diverted traffic towards Guwahati via Diphu and Manja in neighbouring Karbi Anglong district.
Around 70 per cent of the 46 sq km area at Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary in Morigaon district has also been inundated, forcing one-horned rhinos to venture into the nearby highlands, a forest official said.
The sanctuary near Guwahati has the highest density of Indian one-horned rhinos in the world at over 100.
(With PTI inputs)