The flood situation in the northeast took a turn for the worse on Friday as incessant rainfall pounded parts of the region for the fourth consecutive day, leaving its major rivers in spate, officials said.
Nine more people, including two children, died in rain-related incidents in Assam, raising the toll in this year’s floods and landslides to 55, a bulletin by the state’s disaster management authority said.
The deaths were reported from Hojai, Nalbari, Bajali, Dhubri, Kamrup, Kokrajhar, and Sonitpur districts.
Two people were also reported missing in Hojai and Sonitpur.
A total of 18.94 lakh people have been affected by the heavy rain and subsequent flood and landslides in 28 districts of the state, the bulletin issued by Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) said.
The situation is no better in Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh, where roads have been damaged due to landslides and villages are largely flooded.
Sohra (erstwhile Cherrapunji) in Meghalaya recorded a massive 972 mm of rainfall in 24 hours ending 8:30 am on Friday, while Mawsynram received 1003.6 mm showers during the same period, IMD officials said.
At least 18 people have died over the past two days in Meghalaya in flash floods and landslides, officials stated.
They also said that the government will be paying ex-gratia to the kin of the deceased.
In Assam, landslides were reported in Dima Hasao, Goalpara, Hojai, Kamrup and Kamrup (Metropolitan) and Morigaon.
Union minister Sarbananda Sonowal called up Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma and discussed the situation with him, according to state officials.
Several rivers, including Brahmaputra, Kopili, Paladadiya, Jia-Bharali, Manas and Beki, are flowing above the danger level in the state.
An alert was sounded in Karbi Anglong, Morigaon and Nagaon districts as four sluice gates of NEEPCO’s hydroelectric project were opened in Dima Hasao.
Flooding was also reported in urban areas of Kamrup Metropolitan, Bajali, Barpeta, Darrang, Goalpara, Morigaon, Kokrajhar, Nalbari and Udalguri districts, the ASDMA bulletin said.
Guwahati has been severely affected by continued waterlogging in most parts of the city, with areas such as Anil Nagar, Nabin Nagar, Zoo Road, Six Mile, Noonmati, Bhootnath, Maligaon, Bamunimaidam, Rajgarh Link Road, Hatigaon, Rukimingaon, Fatasil and Gotanagar remaining severely affected.
At least 234 roads and 16 bridges have been damaged in the rain, officials said
The administration in Sonitpur has closed down NH-15, connecting Lakhimpur, Dhemaji along with Itanagar and Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh, for heavy vehicles, and the situation is being monitored, the officials said.
The second wave of floods this year has impacted 2,930 villages in Assam, while 1,06,677 people have taken shelter in 363 relief camps.
In neighbouring Arunachal Pradesh, water from river Subansiri has submerged the under-construction dam site of a hydroelectric power project.
Workers employed at the dam site have been asked to move to safety by authorities of National Hydro Power Corporation (NHPC), which is developing the project, official sources maintained.
Torrential rain in the frontier state has inundated numerous villages of the two districts of Dhemaji and Lakhimpur, a government official said.
A portion of NH-6, which passes through Assam, Meghalaya and Tripura, has caved in due to landslides, bringing traffic movement to a halt.
During the day, the Northeast Frontier Railways has cancelled short-terminated and diverted several trains due to water-logging of railway tracks.
The Assam government has also arranged for special flights between Guwahati and Silchar for people stranded due to the floods and landslides.
The special flights, arranged by the Assam Tourism Development Corporation (ATDC) in association with Fly Big, will start operating from June 18 at a fixed rate of Rs 4,000 per person, an official release said.