International desk, July 13: More than eight lakh people have been affected in India’s Assam as monsoon floods have inundated at least 21 of the 33 districts in the state.The Brahmaputra river, one of the largest in the world that cuts through the state’s biggest city Guwahati, and five others are flowing above the danger mark, officials have said. Six people have died so far due to floods in Assam.Officials say over 27,000 hectares of farmland is under floodwater and more than 7,000 people have been evacuated to 68 relief camps across Assam, NDTV reports.
With more rain predicted over the weekend, ferry services across the state have been stopped since Friday.
Dhemaji and Lakhimpur in the tea-rich Upper Assam, and Bongaigaon and Barpeta in Lower Assam are the worst hit. Officials said floodwaters from the higher areas will flow towards the valleys, worsening the situation in Lower Assam areas.
Barpeta is the worst-affected with over 85,000 people seeking shelter, said the Assam State Disaster Management Authority.
Floodwaters also entered Kaziranga National Park in Upper Assam – home of the endangered one-horned rhinoceros – forcing the animals to take shelter on platforms constructed for their safety during flood, officials said.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal spoke with the deputy commissioners of the affected districts via video conference on Thursday to assess the situation. He directed the deputy commissioners to set up round-the-clock control rooms and respond to people’s calls for help during emergency.
Amid the flood, Assam is also grappling with rising cases of encephalitis and the state government has cancelled the leaves of all health department employees till the end of September to deal with the outbreak.
Nine districts in Assam are most vulnerable to encephalitis. Since 2013, over 700 people have died of the disease.