Guwahati: Eight persons were killed and over six lakh people hit by the floods in Assam, where the rising Brahmaputra River and its tributaries have flooded 19 districts prompting the army to launch relief operations.
Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) said one person died due to the flood at No 1 Kawadi village under Bijni revenue circle in Chirang district and two others in Dotoma revenue circle in Kokrajhar district.
Two persons have died in Lakhimpur and one each in Bongaigaon, Baksa and Sonitpur districts, ASDMA said in a press release on Friday.
Over 1.23 lakh people have been displaced by the flood forcing them to take shelter in 177 relief camps set up by the administration, the release said.
Incessant rains in the upper catchment areas have caused the water level of river Brahmaputra and its tributaries flowing through Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, Sivasagar, Nalbari, Goalpara, Morigaaon, Dhubri, Kamrup, Golaghat, Darrang, Nagaon, Kokrajhar, Bongaigaon, Chirang, Barpeta, Jorhat, Baska and Sonitpur districts to rise alarmingly, a report from the Water Resources Department said.
Flood waters have inundated 27 anti-poaching camps inside Kaziranga National Park and damaged a bridge and a culvert at Burapahar Range, Forest Department reported.
The Red Horn Division of the army has since Thursday deployed two columns consisting of an officer, two junior commissioned officers and 35 of other ranks along with a boat assault universal type with over board motor, life jackets and other flood relief materials in Kokrajhar and Chirang districts, said a Defence spokesman.
Army swung into action as the waters of Saralbhanga river in Kokrajhar and other major tributaries of Brahmaputra in Chirang rose displacing many villagers. They rescued many of villagers from inundated areas and provided food and medical assistance to them, an Army spokesman said. The Army in consonance with the civil administration is also geared for further operations as the flood situation worsens, he added.
Reports of damage to roads, embankments and bridges, besides erosion have also been reported from the affected districts.
Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi reviewed the flood situation with the Minister for Water Resources Basanta Das and senior officials here during the day and directed the revenue and disaster management department to take steps to gear up relief and rescue operations.
He also directed the department to provide food, medicine, drinking water and baby food to relief camp inmates and take special care of children and women who have taken shelter in them, a government release said.
(With inputs from agencies)