Written by: Aanya Krishna – a grade 6 student.
What’s the situation?
The state of Assam has been witnessing heavy spells of rain. This has led to the flooding of the Brahmaputra – the main river that runs across the state. Over three lakh people have been affected across 11 districts so far and around 300 villages are submerged in water. Almost 26,000 hectares of crop areas have been destroyed which may cause a shortage of food. Infrastructure like roads and bridges have also been damaged in several places. The Goalpara district is the worst hit, followed by Nagaon and Hojai.
Which river’s level is rising?
The water level of the Brahmaputra river has been gradually rising following continuous rains in the area since May 16th. The Brahmaputra river and its tributaries continue to flow above the danger mark in several areas. Since the Brahmaputra is a snow-fed river it also receives water from glaciers. In summers the melting of glaciers happens just when the monsoons reach Assam. This increases the water levels substantially leading to flooding.
How many people have been displaced?
At present, around 3.72 lakh persons are affected due to floods in Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Nagaon, Hojai, Darrang, Barpeta, Nalbari, Goalpara, West Karbi Anglong, Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts. 18,000 people have taken shelter in relief camps. Nearly 12,000 domestic animals and poultry have also been affected.
What relief measures are being implemented?
The central government has allocated Rs 772 crores as funds towards providing relief measures for Assam. Out of this Rs, 386 crores have already been received by the state. The authorities are running 57 relief camps across 5 districts to handle the flood situation. This year the camps have been set-up also keeping in mind the social distancing norms due to Covid-19. Steps are being taken to repair 157 roads that have been damaged. Cattle feed is being given to domestic animals in flood-hit areas and food is also being provided to wild animals in Kaziranga National Park and other affected wildlife sanctuaries.
Do the floods take lives every year?
Assam is traditionally a flood-prone area. Some years have seen more destruction than others. In terms of impact on human lives, the floods of 1988, 1998, and 2004 were the worst; the 2004 floods alone affected 12.4 million people and claimed 251 lives.
Written by: Aanya Krishna
Aanya is a grade 6 student. A voracious reader she also loves to draw and doodle. Like her whole family, she is also a big foodie!
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