Unprecedented Northeast floods kill 80, maroon 17 lakh; ISRO to assess damage

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Around 80 people died so far due ‘unprecedented’ flooding and landslides in the Northeast. The Centre on Thursday said it plans to bring in space experts and the ISRO to assess damage as two Union ministers took stock of the situation.

Around 80 people have died so far in the Northeast due to floods and landslides that the Centre on Thursday termed “unprecedented”.

Jitendra Singh, Union minister of state for development of north eastern region (DoNER), who on Thursday chaired a review meeting on the flooding in the Northeast, said that the devastation has hit 58 districts across Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.

“The damage caused by the rainfall is unprecedented and a total of 58 districts have been affected due to floods/landslides in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Manipur. Around 80 lives have been lost,” he added.

Assam remained the worst hit, with nearly 50 flood-related deaths so far 26 districts. In Assam alone, more than 17 lakh people have been affected as a result of the massive flooding.

Northeast floods

Union minister Kirren Rijiju, who has been deputed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to monitor the flooding in the Northeast, on Thursday undertook an aerial survey of Assam, and later said that a high level inter-ministerial team would be deputed to the states within one month to assess the damage.

The Centre also plans to bring in experts from space technology and the Indian Space Research Organisation to assess the damage caused by floods and landslides in the Northeast.

VILLAGES UNDERWATER, CROPS DAMAGED, WILDLIFE PERILED
  1. Around 77 per cent of Assam’s Kaziranga National Park, including 134 anti-poaching camps, has been inundated, leaving some animals dead and some moving to nearby highlands. According to the park’s director, 58 animals, included three rare one-horned rhinos, have died as a result of the flooding. Authorities are also concerned that animals fleeing flooded areas might fall prey to poachers, but no cases of poaching have yet been reported.
  2. According to the Assam State Disaster Management Authority, the flooding has hit more than 17.43 lakh people across Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Biswanath, Sonitpur, Darrang, Nalbari, Barpeta, Bongaigaon, Chirang, Kokrajhar, Dhubri, South Salmara, Goalpara, Morigaon, Nagaon, Karbi Anglong, Jorhat, Golaghat, Majuli, Sivasagar, Dibrugarh, Charaideo, Cachar, Karimganj, Kamrup and Hailakandi districts.
  3. The ASDMA added that 2,450 villages are under water in Assam that that more than 86,000 hectares of crop areas have been inundated due the flooding. Across the state, 14,10,968 animals and poultry have been affected by the flood waters, the agency said.
  4. Currently, the Brahmaputra is flowing above the danger mark at five places – Guwahati, Nimatighat in Jorhat, Tezpur in Sonitpur, and Goalpara and Dhubri towns. Other rivers like Burhidehing at Khowang in Dibrugarh, Desang Naglamuragat in Sivasagar, Dhansiri at Numaligarh in Golaghat and Beki at Road Bridge in Barpeta are flowing above the danger mark as well.
  5. Arunachal Pradesh has taken a major hit to its road infrastructure with capital Itanagar getting virtually cut off. Many district headquarters in the state have also been cut off from the rest of the country, officials said. Major rivers in Arunachal Pradesh were flowing above danger levels on Thursday.
  6. Nagaland too was hit by flash floods on Thursday after torrential rains swept the state. No casualties were reported as of early Friday but officials said that crops and plantations have been destroyed, livestock has been swept away and many families have been rendered homeless. Landslides affected road transport in several parts of the state. The Dimapur-Kohima National Highway-29 has been badly damaged near Kiruphema village.
  7. In its weather bulletin on Thursday, the Indian Meterological Department predicted moderate rains and thundershowers over “many places” in Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura, and light to moderate rains and thundershowers over “few place” in Arunachal Pradesh , Assam and Meghalaya.
  8. Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this week expressed pain and anguish on the situation in the Northeast saying the Centre has assured all possible help to normalise the situation. ” I am anguished by the situation arising due to floods in various parts of the Northeast. I share the pain of all those affected by floods,” Modi said.
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