870,000 people affected by flooding in Indian state of Assam

Thousands have been rendered homeless by heavy monsoon rains in India's north-eastern state of Assam.
Thousands have been rendered homeless by heavy monsoon rains in India's north-eastern state of Assam.PHOTO: AFP

NEW DELHI (DPA) - Almost 870,000 people have been affected and thousands rendered homeless by floods in India's north-eastern state of Assam, brought on by heavy monsoon rains, officials said on Saturday (July 13).

Disaster teams were in the process of rescuing locals from 1,556 inundated villages across 21 of the state's 33 districts, while state agencies were providing food and medical supplies to flood victims.

"While five people died washed away by floods, one was killed in a landslide. All the deaths were reported since Wednesday," an official at the state disaster management control room said from the state capital, Guwahati.

Water levels in Assam's Brahmaputra River and its tributaries have continued to rise, inundating new areas in recent days.

"The flood situation is serious. A total of 869,024 people have been affected, including being displaced, stranded in their homes or having suffered damages to their crops, land and livelihood," the official said.

Around 8,000 people rendered homeless by the floods had taken refuge in 68 government-run relief camps.

Assam's main wildlife sanctuary, Kaziranga National Park, which is home to the largest concentration of one-horned rhinos in the world, was also inundated.

 
 

The regional weather office has predicted that moderate to heavy rains will continue to lash the region in the next few days.

India's monsoon season between June and September often sees heavy rains that are vital for agriculture but can cause immense destruction.