Over 9,000 homeless as floods sweep Assam, Meghalaya

Over 9,000 left homeless, 30,000 affected in floods in Assam, Meghalaya amidst coronavirus pandemic

Villagers use a country boat to shift from a flooded locality following heavy rainfall at Bolbola in Goalapra district of Assam. (PTI photo)

The flood triggered by heavy rains since Friday affected over 30,000 people in Assam and neighbouring Meghalaya and left more than 9,000 homeless on Monday.

The daily flood bulletin issued by Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) in Guwahati said 127 villages in five districts--Goalpara, Lakhimpur, Dhemaji, Dibrugarh and Darrang districts were inundated forcing 8,941 people to take shelter in 33 relief camps in Goalpara. 

The administration pressed National Disaster Response Force and State Disaster Response Force personnel into action, who evacuated 400 flood-hit people on Monday, it said.

Several roads have been washed away or eroded while 579 hectares of crops have been damaged by the deluge so far.

Balijana and Lakhipur blocks in Goalapara were the worst affected in the floods, which worsened due to heavy rains in the hills of neighbouring Garo Hills in Meghalaya.

Officials in Meghalaya said nearly 1,400 people were affected in West Garo Hills district in 11 villages due to the floods so far. At least 11 relief camps have been opened by the administration for the affected people.

The flood is almost an annual problem in Assam but the deluge amid the coronavirus pandemic has posed an added challenge to the administration, already struggling to contain the spread of the deadly virus. The state reported 524 COVID-19 positive cases from all 33 districts with 122 new cases detected on Monday. Four people have died so far while 62 persons have been discharged after recovery. 

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Worried over the threat of COVID-19, the ASDMA has already prepared special safety guidelines to prevent the spread of the deadly virus in flood relief camps.

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