Floods in Assam submerge entire villages – ‘Like a scene from Titanic Movie’.
In Assam, North-East India, the monsoon season brings flooding to varying degrees every year. But this year they say the situation is worse. Eight rivers are above the high flood level, and three are above the danger level (Central Water Commission’s bulletin). Landslides have also been reported in a few places. 96 Revenue Circles and 2,930 villages have been affected, including 1.9 million people, over 100,000 of whom are now in 373 relief camps.
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Assam Devastating floods
Due to heavy rains during the monsoon season, river water rises above the danger line. Overflowing rivers cause the riverbanks to erode, destroying homes and making entire communities homeless. People are using wooden or tin boats and banana rafts to flee for their lives, taking along the few possessions they managed to save. This transportation method is inadequate and hazardous, and the flood victims’ situation is becoming increasingly desperate.
In recent years, floods have ravaged the Barpeta district due to the release of water from the Kurishu Dam by the Bhutanese government. Many people have lost their homes in the past few months and are now living in refugee camps. The condition of the farmers has worsened because they have not been able to transport their crops. Sources of drinking water have been contaminated. Roads are inundated and disconnected everywhere. Affected communities rush to high ground, hoping for safety. In addition, the animals that have not been lost in the flooding that sustain the livelihood of families do not have feed, particularly cattle, goats, sheep, and poultry. These animals are also difficult to transport, but their loss is devastating to familial income.
Most displaced people are living in small, crowded spaces in camps or on makeshift boats, with little food and other supplies. Health and hygiene have been major concerns for children, who are also victims of malnutrition. The continuous wet weather causes issues with maintaining fires as well as excrement areas. Even finding clean drinking water has been difficult, as most drinking sources are now covered by floodwaters.
‘Unprecedented’ flooding in South Asia linked to climate changes
The Brahmaputra Valley that encompasses the Northeast part of India witnesses floods almost every year, leaving behind a tale of death and destruction. Even before the onset of monsoon in Assam this year, incessant rain over the past week has wreaked havoc, with much of Assam submerged, crops destroyed and hundred thousands displaced.
According to the Council on Energy, Environment and Water, Assam is one of the states most vulnerable to extreme climate events. The report says the Northeast states are more vulnerable to floods.
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