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Assam-Meghalaya Floods: Death Toll Rises to 71 as Incessant Rains, Landslides Continue; 42 Lakh Residents Affected | The Weather Channel – Articles from The Weather Channel | weather.com – The Weather Channel


Flood-affected villagers shift to a safer place at Kampur village in Nagaon district of Assam (IANS)

Flood-affected villagers shift to a safer place at Kampur village in Nagaon district of Assam

(IANS)

Monday, June 20: The situation continues to look grim in the Northeast states — especially in Assam — as incessant flooding and consequent landslides have raised this year’s death toll to 71. This unfortunate number includes victims from all walks of life, including school children, police officers, and even a 16-year-old promising boxer.

The bleak bulletin by the Assam Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) released on Sunday, June 19, shows that the flooding has affected over 5000 villages across the state’s 33 districts, affecting 42 lakh people in the states. This is a significant jump from the number on Saturday that already stood at 30 lakh affected residents, forcing many of them to have to live on the highway for the past 5-6 days.

Current forecasts predict that the northeastern states are likely to continue experiencing heavy rainfall in isolated areas for the next five days, due to which the IMD has put most of these states under a yellow watch (meaning ‘be updated’) till Friday.

Nine deaths have been reported in the area just in the past 24 hours. Three of these occurred in Meghalaya, a state that has recorded some of the heaviest rainfall during this period. In addition, the flooding has endangered almost 200 homes and resulted in at least 8 additional missing persons in the past 24 hours.

However, the destruction isn’t just confined to human life — the bulletin also listed that over 1 lakh hectares of land and almost 3 lakh animals have been affected by the flooding.

Authorities have warned residents to take utmost care while navigating the following rivers and their adjoining areas, as the rivers are currently flowing above danger levels: Beki (Road Bridge), Manas (Nh Road Crossing), Pagladiya (Nt Road Crossing), Puthimari (Nh Road Crossing), Kopili (Dharamtul), Subansiri (Badatighat), Brahmaputra (Dhubri, Goalpara, Tezpur, Neamatighat)

Army personnel rescue villagers from the flood-affected area of Kamrup district of Assam on June 20, 2022 (IANS)

Army personnel rescue villagers from the flood-affected area of Kamrup district of Assam on June 20, 2022

(IANS)

In order to carry out search and rescue operations, a volley of different groups has taken initiative, such as the Army, the NDRF, SDRF, local police forces, and even many civil volunteers. Fortunately, around 4500 people have been rescued so far, and are being shifted to relief camps for timely support.

Assam is one of the most flood-prone regions in the country due to a number of factors such as its location and the state of flood-control measures in the state. However, one of the most important factors that contribute to flooding in the state every year is the state of the Brahmaputra during the monsoon months, which tends to overflow every year.

We are seeing the same situation currently, with several tributaries of the river flowing in the “extreme flood stage”. In particular, the Kopili and Puthimari in central and lower Assam, have been flowing at dangerous levels, affecting numerous villages and leaving thousands of people homeless.

Flood affected areas (via Google)

Flood affected areas

(via Google)

Subsequent landslides are making the matters worse in Assam by blocking off crucial roads that connect the state to its sisters. As this becomes the fifth day since the NH-6 remains blocked, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma reportedly has been reviewing the situation and has assured that work is underway to restore the road in the next 72 hours. However, this has also led to significant traffic congestion, with Deccan Herald reporting over 1000 trucks stocked with goods stranded in the area.

“The rain has been unprecedented and in some areas, it has broken records of the past 40 years. This is real heavy rain, which was not expected. Major roads in highways and important roads in rural areas, as well as bridges have been damaged in the rains,” Sangma told Deccan Herald.

An increase in the number of rainy days and the frequency of heavy rainfall events was also projected by a recent climate change study on the northeastern states. According to the analysis by the Centre for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (CSTEP), the RCP 4.5 scenario calls for almost a month more rain per year. This study has made it even more vital that the northeastern states make good plans for future considerations, even though they currently struggle to manage the current adverse situations.

Since the beginning of the month, Assam and Meghalaya have received large excesses in rainfall, accumulating 384 mm against the 220 mm it normally receives around this time, according to data from the IMD.

(With inputs from IANS)

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