Flood, fever make lives miserable in Assam

Flood, fever make lives miserable in Assam

Flooded homes and the fear of encephalitis has made lives miserable for many in Assam as 42.86 lakh people were affected by floods and the death toll due to encephalitis rose to 192 on Monday.

The daily flood bulletin issued by the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) here said 30 of the state’s 33 districts were affected by floods so far while 83,180 people took shelter in 183 relief camps.

“Four flood-related deaths were reported from Goalpara, Morigaon, Nagaon and Hailakandi districts in the past 24-hours. This takes the death toll due to floods to 13 while two others had died earlier due to landslides,” said the bulletin. 

The number of flood-affected people stood at 26,45,533 on Sunday. Train service between Lumding-Badarpur hills section was cancelled till July 19 after heavy rains damaged railway tracks between Jatinga Lumpur and New Harangajao stations in central Assam, chief public relations officer of Northeast Frontier Railways, Pranav Jyoti Sharma said.

Prabin Saikia, a farmer in Dhakuakhana in North Assam’s Lakhimpur district felt relieved on Saturday evening after reaching a shelter camp with his five-member family after his home was completely damaged by floods. But the high fever of his six-year-old son Raktim from Sunday morning left him worried again. “The government is telling all suffering from fever to go for a blood test to confirm encephalitis. But how can I take him to hospital in this flood?” a worried Saikia told DH over the phone on Monday.

Lakhimpur, sharing a border with Arunachal Pradesh is one of the worst flood-affected districts. Apart from local rains, water flowing down the hills of Arunachal Pradesh aggravate the flood situation.

The state health department said on Monday evening that 16 deaths were reported due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome and Japanese Encephalitis (JE) in the past 24 hours, taking the death toll to 192 since June 28.

The six new deaths caused by JE were reported from Lakhimpur, Barpeta, Darrang, Hailakandi, Jorhat and Tinsukia districts. A total of 1,409 AES/JE cases has been reported from across the state so far.

Special fund

Debabrat Saikia, the leader of the Opposition in Assam Assembly wrote a letter to Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Monday with a request to impress upon the Centre to announce a special flood relief package immediately like it did during the similar flood in Kerala, J&K and Tamil Nadu in the past.