Assam flood waters recede; death toll reaches 79

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A woman walks through a flood-affected area, in Nagaon district of Assam, on July 9, 2024
| Photo Credit: PTI

The flood situation in Assam eased a bit over the last 24 hours but left seven people dead.

According to the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), the flood-related death toll since May reached 79 on Tuesday. The update excluded the death of an eight-year-old boy who was swept away in a storm-water drain in Guwahati and a mother and child buried in a landslide on the Assam-Meghalaya border less than a week ago.

An ASDMA spokesperson said the number of flood-affected districts came down from 30 less than a week ago to 26 on Tuesday. “About 17.18 lakh people are still affected across 2,779 villages in the flood-hit districts. Moreover, 48,021 people are currently taking shelter in 240 relief camps,” she said, adding that 39,870.3 hectares of cropland remained submerged.

The spokesperson said the Brahmaputra, Burhidihing, Dikhou, Disang, Kopili, and Kushiyara were flowing above the danger level.

Officials said the floodwater started receding from the Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve. Forest guards patrolling the protected area on motorboats found the carcasses of 22 animals, including three rhinos, two sambars and a hog deer.

So far, 159 animals in the park have died. While nine of these were rhinos, 142 were hog deer, two of which were run over by vehicles moving at speeds beyond the maximum limit of 40 km per hour.

“Strict vigil on the highway has helped check the number of vehicle-hit cases this time,” a park official said. The animals become vulnerable when they try to escape to the hills of Karbi Anglong district beyond National Highway 715 skirting the southern fringes of the flooded park.

Of the 233 anti-poaching camps in the tiger reserve, 62 were inundated. Four others had to be vacated by the forest guards.

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