Assam Floods: Hapless people and harried animals run for their lives

Assam witnessed yet another year of devastating floods – considered the worst in last four years as the deluge drowns a large region of the northeastern state.

Credit: Mid-day.

  • 86 people have died and another 14000 are reliant upon relief camps.
  • 1348 villages ranging across 50 districts have been affected.
  • 522 camps have been set up, according to the Assam State Disaster Management Authority.

Heavy rains continue to lash down upon Assam as 28 districts struggle to cope with the water level that has dealt a significant damage to lives and assets. As many as 86 lives have been already lost and 14,000 people have been relocated to various relief camps across the state.

The reasons for the flood are varied and stem from several sources, both man-made as well as geological. As claimed widely, the major factor behind the annual phenomenon of flooding is the largely increased water level in the Brahmaputra river and its tributaries. The Brahmaputra, while following its course from Tibet, carries sediments which, in turn, make the river-bed shallow and increase the possibility of getting the surrounding areas flooded.

The tourism, and more importantly, the wildlife has taken a major hit as images have surfaced on the internet of rhinos taking shelter in patches of land in the Kaziranga National Park to avoid the rising floodwater levels in the Brahmaputra. In another incident, an adult tiger weighing about 200 pounds ended up in a local shop while abandoning the jungle and moving up to higher ground. Naturally, such incidents raise a concerning issue as a sustained flood can get the animals into serious harm.

Credit: India Today

But the damage was done. Lives were lost of people and animals (both domesticated and wild life). The government is yet to estimate the extent of damage to property. However, statistic from the past indicate the scale of loss of life and property.

Recent Developments in Relief Work

Though this has been nearly annual feature, the government – both at the center and the state, seemed  quite unprepared for this years onslaught by the river. However, the government swung into action and set up relief camps and tried to help the affected people.

Assam Floods on Social Media

Many citizens and officials took to social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to share stories and information relating to floods. Some of them were heart-rending stories.

The relief operations too had their share of tweets. Here is one:

Even sprinter Hima Das has a tweet:

Striking images of people fleeing villages carrying their precious and meager belongings. Videos of the swollen river threatening to inundate the villages had garnered thousands of views.

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(Coordinator: Sarasvati; Newswriting/editing/research: Ratul; Data gathering/mining: Sarasvati and Rhea; Visuals/graphics: Sanjana and Sajana and Sanket; Editing MR;)