Northeast Floods Cause Unprecedented Damage, 80 Dead

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Guwahati: Around 80 people have died so far in the Northeast due to floods and landslides that the Centre on Thursday termed “unprecedented”.

Jitendra Singh, Union minister of state for development of north eastern region (DoNER), who on Thursday chaired a review meeting on the flooding in the Northeast, said that the devastation has hit 58 districts across Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.

“The damage caused by the rainfall is unprecedented and a total of 58 districts have been affected due to floods/landslides in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Manipur. Around 80 lives have been lost,” Singh said.

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Assam was the worst hit, with nearly 50 flood-related deaths so far in 26 districts. The state has also seen more than 17 lakh people getting affected as a result of the flooding.

Union minister Kirren Rijiju, who has been deputed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to monitor the flooding in the Northeast, on Thursday undertook an aerial survey of Assam, and later said that a high level inter-ministerial team would be deputed to the states within one month to assess the damage.

The Centre also plans to bring in experts from space technology and the Indian Space Research Organisation to assess the damage caused by floods and landslides in the Northeast.

Around 77 per cent of Assam’s Kaziranga National Park, including 134 anti-poaching camps, has been inundated, leaving some animals dead and some moving to nearby highlands. According to the park’s director, 58 animals, included three rare one-horned rhinos, have died as a result of the flooding. Authorities are also concerned that animals fleeing flooded areas might fall prey to poachers, but no cases of poaching have yet been reported.

According to the Assam State Disaster Management Authority, the flooding has hit more than 17.43 lakh people across Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Biswanath, Sonitpur, Darrang, Nalbari, Barpeta, Bongaigaon, Chirang, Kokrajhar, Dhubri, South Salmara, Goalpara, Morigaon, Nagaon, Karbi Anglong, Jorhat, Golaghat, Majuli, Sivasagar, Dibrugarh, Charaideo, Cachar, Karimganj, Kamrup and Hailakandi districts.