Floods affect 30,000 in Assam as Covid-19 cases continue to rise

The first wave of the flash floods hit the state four days ago leading to over 8,000 people to take shelter in relief camps

AssamImage Courtesy:sentinelassam.com

As Assam’s Covid-19 count continues to rise rapidly reaching the 600 mark, the first wave of floods has hit the state too, affecting roughly 30,000 people in five districts. State Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has issued a statement in the matter saying that all those wishing to return to Assam, must do so by June 10 so that they can remain in quarantine for upto 14 days till June 30 and the authorities can get to work on tackling the floods starting July.

The flood situation continues to remain bleak, with the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) issuing a bulleting stating that 127 villages in eight revenue circles have been affected – in Lakhimpur (3), Goalpara (2), Dibrugarh (1), Dhemaji (1) and Darrang (1) districts. The ASDMA also said that 579 hectares of crop area has been flooded.

The Telegraph reported that altogether 30,701 people and 12,054 domestic animals and poultry have been affected by the first wave on floods. Roads have suffered extensive damage and the erosion of embankments from the affected districts has been reported. It was also reported that 8,941 displaced people are taking shelter in 33 relief camps.

In the Sonitpur district and Puthimari at NT Road in Kamrup district, the Jai Bharali River is said to be flowing above the danger level. Waterlogging has been reported from the low-lying areas of Lakhipur in the Goalpara district. A portion of the Agia-Lakhipur state highway 12 has also been washed away due to the flash floods.

Varnali Deka, Goalpara deputy commissioner said, “Around 22,000 people are affected in Balijana and Lakhipur revenue circles so far in the district and relief distribution started from Sunday. The affected people are kept in relief camps, maintaining social distance and also provided sanitizers and masks. All are asked to follow the Covid-19 guidelines and this time limited number of people are being houses in the camps.”

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) that reached the low-lying areas of Lakhipur which were affected due to the flow of water from the North Garo Hills of Meghalaya, evacuated 18 marooned villagers with the help of the 1st NDRF battalion that reached there. Two search and rescue teams of the 1st battalion of the NDRF teams have also been deployed in Bongaigon and Jorhat. In Barpeta and Cachar too, teams are conducting flood rescue operations. Besides this, the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) which has been deployed at around 40 places in Assam, has helped rescue 438 people in Goalpara.

Until now, over 60,000 people have arrived into the states via trains and buses. After the resumption of domestic flights in the country starting May 25, a total of 686 persons returned to Assam by eight flights.

About the rising Covid-19 cases, Sarma said that the state has the capacity to treat 5,000 patients. He has maintained that the infections are recent and that there has been no spike in the quarantine centres as all swabs were collected from people soon after they arrived from outstation, thereby insisting that the infections are imported and not home-grown.

On Monday, the maximum number of cases (52) which were reported from Golaghat, were found to have been in people who had returned home in two batches of 18 and 34 over the past four days from Chennai and Mumbai and who were sent to institutional quarantine in Assam. In Dhemaji district, the first four cases were also reported from those who had returned from Chennai. The returnees are now in the Dhemaji civil hospital that has been declared to be a containment zone by the government. In lower Assam’s Salmara Mankachar district, three persons were found to be positive and were found to have returned from Uttar Pradesh on May 22, The Telegraph reported.


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