The flood situation in Assam remained grim on Friday as 11 more people died taking the toll to 47, while 48.87 lakh people were affected in 27 of the 33 districts.
IMAGE: One-horned rhinos rest on a highland in the flood affected area of Kaziranga National Park in Nagaon district in Assam. Photograph: Anuwar Hazarika/Reuters
A total of 1.79 lakh hectare agricultural land was submerged and around 90 per cent of rhino habitats — the Kaziranga National Park and the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary — are under water, officials said.
Of the 11 deaths, five were reported from Dhubri district and three each from Barpeta and Morigaon, the Assam State Disaster Management Authority said.
In its bulletin, the ASDMA said 48,87,443 people of 3,705 villages are affected by the floods.
In Sivasagar and Udalguri where the flood water has ebbed, the displaced people found after returning home that the swirling waters have damaged walls and sand from rivers filled up agriculture lands rendering them unsuitable for farming.
IMAGE: A woman carries her belongings from a flood affected area to a safer place, in Morigaon district. Photograph: PTI Photo
Though water was beginning to recede in Kaziranga National Park in Golaghat district and Pobitora in Morigaon district, forest department sources said animals like rhinos, elephants, buffaloes and deer have taken shelter on artificial high-grounds constructed within the forests.
The Brahmaputra is flowing above the danger level in Guwahati, Goalpara and Dhubri, Dhansiri at Numaligarh in Golaghat district, Jia Bharali in Sonitpur district, Kopili at Dharamtul in Nagaon district, the bulletin said.
Over 1.47 lakh displaced people are now in 755 relief camps and 304 relief distribution centres set up by the administrations.
However, many people alleged that they were not being provided with adequate relief items or accommodation in the camps forcing some of them to live in boats.
IMAGE: Villagers relocate to a safer place from their flood-affected village following monsoon rains in Morigoan. Photograph: PTI Photo
Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said probably the administration did not anticipate the enormity of the deluge and that led to shortage of relief materials in some camps.
However, enquiries will be made into these charges, he said.
IMAGE: A Forest Guard security post in Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary seen half-submerged following monsoon rains, in Morigoan. Photograph: PTI Photo
The floods have affected over 22 lakh big and small animals, besides 23 lakh poultry birds, the ASDMA added.
The National Disaster Response Force and State Disaster Response Force teams are engaged in rescue operation in the 27 flood-hit districts
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