Flood scene still grim in Assam, toll touches 39

GUWAHATI:

The flood fury continued in Assam as the toll rose to 39 in the second wave of floods and over 3.3 million people continued to be marooned in 24 districts of Assam on Wednesday.

The Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) has cancelled over 70 trains and the Railway Board has directed all zonal railways to cancel trains travelling from various parts of the country beyond Malda (West Bengal) and Katihar (Bihar) till August 20 due to the prevailing flood situation.

According to the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) on Wednesday, 11 people have died in the last 24 hours in different flood affected districts of the state, taking the latest toll to 39.

Besides, 84 people have died in the first wave of floods that hit the state between April to June this year.

The Assam government has pressed into service Army and Border Security Force officials besides the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) officials in relief and rescue operations in different parts of the state. 

The flood has taken a serious turn under Kaliabor subdivision in Nagaon district forcing the district administration to announce closure of schools and colleges for next three days.

ASDMA officials said that floods have affected 33,45,442 people so far in 2,970 villages in 24 districts as on Wednesday and 1,38,648 people are still taking shelter in 304 the relief camps.

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal had visited the flood affected areas in South Salmara-Mankachar district on Tuesday and took stock of the damages. 

He visited the Sisumara, Jinjiram and the areas affected by the Brahmaputra river confluence and interacted with the flood affected people and members of local organisations, public representatives there.

Sonowal said the government has accorded top priority to the relief material distribution and the district administrations have been pressed into service to meet the requirements. 

Since the South Salmara-Mankachar district is situated along the sensitive India-Bangladesh border, the government has taken the flood situation there very seriously the and district administration has been directed to take urgent measures for relief and rescue operations, he added.

"At least 120 passengers who are stranded at Guwahati station... the railway administration is taking all necessary steps to extend all possible assistance to these people," an NFR statement said on Wednesday.