Assam floods: Situation improves, affected total dips; death toll stands at 109
The flood situation in Assam has significantly improved during the past one week, even as one more person died in Kokrajhar district on Friday taking the death toll to 109, officials said.
Officials of the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) said that the overall flood situation in the state's worst-hit western region is considerably better, while the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said that the respite in the rains since last Friday has been helpful and predicted that conditions would further improve in the coming days.
According to ASDMA officials, around 11 lakh people in 1,366 villages across 21 of the state's 33 districts are still in distress, though the number has come down since July 24 when over 28 lakh people in 2,543 villages of 26 districts were affected.
Of the 11 lakh affected people, 7.42 lakh are in the state's five western districts -- Goalpara (340,515), Morigaon (221,726), Bongaigaon (96,763), Barpeta (55,636), and Dhubri (27,930), they said. A total of 82,947 hectares of crops are still flooded, but the area has come down from 122,573 hectares as on July 24.
The ASDMA officials said that five major rivers including the Brahmaputra, are in spate in many places in six districts, including Sonitpur, where both the Brahmaputra and Jia Bharali are flowing over the danger level.
Forest officials said that at least 145 wild animals have died due to the deluge and 169 have been rescued, even as over 55 per cent of the 884 sq km Kaziranga National Park remains inundated. The animals that have died in the annual monsoon floods include 16 rhinos, 105 hog deer, 11 wild boars, five wild buffaloes, three porcupines and two swamp deer.
The officials said that besides Kaziranga, located on the edge of the eastern Himalayan biodiversity hotspots of Golaghat and Nagaon districts, the Manas, RG Orang and Tinsukia national parks, and the Pabitora and Tinsukia wildlife sanctuaries were also affected.