500 villages submerged in Indian state

Villagers using a makeshift bamboo bridge to cross flooded areas in India's north-eastern state of Assam on Sunday. Weather officials say several rivers are maintaining a rising trend, and many of them have breached their banks.
Villagers using a makeshift bamboo bridge to cross flooded areas in India's north-eastern state of Assam on Sunday. Weather officials say several rivers are maintaining a rising trend, and many of them have breached their banks.PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW DELHI • The Indian authorities yesterday said at least one person has died and more than 250,000 people affected by floods in the north-eastern state of Assam.

"Floods have hit seven districts of Assam - Lakhimpur, Jorhat, Golaghat, Cachar, Dhemaji, Biswanath and Karimganj. Some 500 villages are submerged, affecting over 250,000 people," said an official from the Assam State Disaster Management Authority.

"The body of a person has been recovered from Subansiri river in north Lakhimpur. He probably drowned. A six-year-old child was reportedly swept away," he added.

Over 14,000 people have taken shelter at 66 relief camps in Cachar and Karimganj districts, another relief and rescue official said.

Meanwhile, weather officials said several rivers, including the Brahmaputra, are maintaining a rising trend for a consecutive fifth day and many of them have breached their banks.

Local TV channels show footage of damaged roads, culverts and bridges, and reported a major disruption of road communication.

"Disaster officials are doing their best to help people affected by floods. The Indian Army may also be called out... if the situation worsens. Relief camps have been set up across the seven affected districts and free food is being provided there," said another official.

Floods are an annual occurrence in Assam during the monsoon season. In July 2012, floods killed more than 100 people and forced over five million people to leave their homes in the state.

XINHUA

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 04, 2017, with the headline '500 villages submerged in Indian state'. Print Edition | Subscribe