By Somnath Mallela

It is that time of the year when puddles on the roads show up, traffic gets even slower, tea stalls get a significant hike in business and rivers start climbing the water level ladder.

Karimganj, Hailakandi and Cachar districts in the Barak Valley and Hojai in central Assam saw river Brahmaputra climb that ladder a bit too fast. The torrential downpour in Assam has claimed at least 24 lives now.

The deluge has wreaked havoc in the North Eastern state like every year, this year being no different in terms of the damage done.

It is as if being submerged in water yearly once has become a feature of the State and this one might just be the worst scenario that the Assamese have seen in 13 years.

The damage to life and property has been huge this time too. Thousands of people who have lost their homes, their loved ones and the death toll is still rising.

The flood also threw a dampener on Eid celebrations of many like 45-year old Rehman Ali from Berberi Gaon in Hojai district who said,

“Floods are not new for us, but this time it’s just before Eid. We could not even offer namaaz properly.”

Precautionary Measures Taken

During monsoon, the Assam State Disaster Management Authority identifies dry lands in upper regions and organizes help and shelter for people who are located in the low lying areas.

Schools remain shut till the weather and surroundings clear up and in the meantime act as a good base for those seeking shelter.

The rail line is converted to broad gauge a few years ago, many stations now are on high ground and have raised pucca platforms, all of which helps to bear the deluge to some extent.

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Relief For The Affected

ASDMA and Railways have collaborated to set up 201 relief camps and the number is growing rapidly to accommodate lakhs of affected Assamese.

Acts of valour by the Indian Army’s Red Horns Division have begun to rescue those drowning like the forces have always done in times of emergency needs.

Indian army soldiers evacuate villagers affected by flood in Jakhalabandha area in Nagaon district, in Assam, India.

Oxfam India, NGO yet again has stepped up in the hour of need.

“We are providing clean water, food, medicines and also setting up temporary shelter in the affected areas. We will focus on building the resilience of the most vulnerable communities to the recurring floods in these areas,”

-said Oxfam India Chief Executive Officer Amitabh Behar.

Current Situation

Death toll has increased to 24 and the flood still continues to take its toll. However, Brahmaputra and Barak rivers and their tributaries recede and were flowing below danger mark on Friday.

3.67 lakh still continue to reel under the deluge, but this number is receding too slowly. 1898 hectares of land still remain submerged.

The current first wave of the flood is expected to relax by Sunday, though alerts are still high, and rescue-relief camps still continue their work in the badly affected regions.

Image Credits: Google Images

Sources: FirstPost, NDTV, TOI

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