Sunday, July 14, 2024
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Assam flood situation grim; stranded rescue team, fishermen airlifted to safety

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Guwahati, July 2: Amid rising river water levels and worsening flood situation in Assam, eight State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) personnel and a revenue official of Dhemaji had to be airlifted with the help of an IAF chopper to safer ground after they were stranded in a sandbar (chapori) while conducting rescue and relief operations on Sunday, official sources said on Tuesday.

Official sources said that the rescue boat used by the SDRF men had capsized in the Siyang river during the operation at Siboguri in Dhemaji district and that it was difficult for the other SDRF teams to move with rescue boats to that spot owing to the rising water level and high river current.

On the other hand, 13 fishermen who were stranded in the middle of Brahmaputra at Hatia Ali in Dibrugarh district since Friday were also airlifted by an IAF helicopter on Tuesday morning.

According to the Dibrugarh district commissioner, SDRF, NDRF and IWT boats could not be sent to the area to rescue the fishermen owing to the increasing river water level and high river current.

Subsequently, the DC had requested the revenue and disaster management department to provide a chopper to rescue the stranded fishermen.

 Accordingly, the chief executive officer of Assam State Disaster Management Authority contacted the central government, following which the chopper was deployed to rescue the trapped men.

Meanwhile, the Brahmaputra at Nimatighat (Jorhat), Tezpur (Sonitpur) Guwahati (Kamrup), Dhubri (Dhubri); Subansiri at Badatighat (Lakhimpur); Burhidihing at Chenimari (Dibrugarh); Dikhou at Sivasagar; Disang at Nanglamuraghat (Sivasagar); Dhansiri at Numaligarh (Golaghat); Jia-Bharali at NT Road Crossing (Sonitpur); Kopili at Kampur (Nagaon) were flowing above danger level, a report of the Central Water Commission informed on Tuesday morning.

As it is, heavy rains have lashed several parts of Assam and other Northeastern states over the past few weeks.

According to a report of the IMD on Tuesday morning, the average rainfall recorded in Assam stood at 44.4 mm, Arunachal Pradesh at 59.5 mm, Meghalaya at 168.0 mm, Nagaland at 20.7 mm, Manipur at 18.7 mm, Mizoram: 29.9 mm while Tripura recorded 55.8 mm.

As on Tuesday morning, 20 districts and a population of 6, 71,167 remain affected by the deluge. Till Monday evening, 35 human lives (18 in Cachar alone), have been lost in two waves of the flood. Notably, the second wave of flood has inundated many areas in the state since June 16, 2024

According to ASDMA, 72 relief camps are currently providing shelter to 8142 flood-affected people. NDRF teams have been deployed at Cachar, Barpeta, Bongaigaon, Dibrugarh, Jorhat, Golaghat, Majuli and Lakhimpur.

SDRF, Fire and Emergency Service personnel, police forces, AAPDA Mitra volunteers of ASDMA have been helping the district administration in flood-hit areas.

So far, 614 deep divers and 159 SDRF personnel with 295 boats have also been deployed in 54 locations across Assam, official sources said. As on Tuesday, rescue operations were being undertaken in affected areas of Golaghat, Tinsukia and Majuli.

Embankments have been breached in Golaghat, Jorhat, Nagaon and Majuli while roads have been damaged at Barpeta, Biswanath, Dhemaji: Golaghat: Karimganj: Kokrajhar; Lakhimpur;  Majuli; Nalbari; Sonitpur; Tinsukia and Udalguri.

Notably, since May 28, 2024, as many as 34 districts, 3972 villages and a population of 16.73 lakh have been affected by the deluge.

Regarding flood-preparedness measures, the state government has conducted six thematic meetings with various line departments and agencies covering areas such as coordination for response; relief camp management; critical infrastructure preparedness; ensuring continuity of services; risk communication and reporting and damage assessment.

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