The first wave of floods in Assam has claimed one life, affected nearly 68,000 people, submerged rhino habitats at Kaziranga and Pobitora and overrun vast tracks of human habitation and farm land.
A 12-year old boy was dragged away by the high current of the Brahmaputra at Jengpuri village in Morigaon district yesterday and his body was recovered today, official sources said.
The surging waters of the Brahmaputra on its northern side and the Kopili and Kolong rivers on the southern part have overrun 60 per cent of the 38.80-sq km Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary in the district.
Rhinos, deer, pygmy hog, wild buffaloes and other animals from the Sanctuary, which has the highest density of one-horn Great Indian Rhinoceros population, were taking shelter on the high platforms built for their succour, the sources said.
The elite Assam Forest Protection Force commandos have been put on 24-hour vigil duty to curb poaching there.
In Kaziranga National Park the flood waters have also forced the animals to take shelter on highlands and in the Karbi Anglong hills outside the 430-sq km Park by crossing National Highway 37, they said.
The Park authorities are on alert to protect the wildlife from deluge and poachers by undertaking day-night vigil and patrolling on boats through the flooded park.
Meanwhile, the flood situation in the state has turned critical with more districts, including Morigaon and Sibsagar, coming under water besides Dhemaji, Golaghat, Jorhat, Kamrup, Karimganj, Lakhimpur and Tinsukia already affected.
Floods and erosion have devastated human habitation and crop fields in Morigaon's Bhuragaon and Mayong revenue circles affecting about 2000 people, the sources said.