- The number of deaths in Assam has climbed to 62
- Large-scale relief operations are on in flood-hit areas of lower Assam
- Around 44 lakh people in 24 of Assam's 33 districts remain affected
Flood waters showed signs of receding in Assam on Saturday but the number of deaths climbed to 62 with rain-related incidents claiming 12 more lives in the last 24 hours. Around 44 lakh people in 24 of the northeastern state's 33 districts remain affected, officials said.
The waters of the deluge, which devastated settlements across the state, receded from Baksa, Hojai and Majuli districts but around 1.51 lakh hectares of crop land and a large part of Kaziranga National Park, where 10 rhinos have been killed, remained inundated.
According to the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) flood bulletin, five deaths reported from Morigaon district, three from Barpeta, two from South Salmara and one each from Nalbari and Dhubri districts during the day.
Large-scale relief operations are underway in flood-hit areas of lower Assam by the army and rescue columns are operating round the clock, authorities said.
Despite incessant rain, 488 persons were evacuated and rescued while relief material was provided to another 450 people.
The ASDMA bulletin said over 1.3 lakh displaced people are still in 689 relief camps and 240 relief distribution centres set up by the district administrations.
In Kaziranga National Park, a World Heritage site where 129 animals have died so far, the flood water level dropped 138 cm. At least 10 rhinoceros and an elephant are among the animals killed have since July 13, a statement by its divisional forest officer said on Saturday.
The Brahmaputra is flowing above the danger level at Neamatighat in Jorhat district, Goalpara, Dhubri, Dhansiri at Numaligarh in Golaghat district and Kopili at Dharamtul in Nagaon district, the ASDMA bulletin said.
Many of the flood affected complained to the state Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sharma and to the media in different places that they have not been provided with adequate gratuitous relief items or accommodation in the relief centres forcing some to live in makeshift homes on boats.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal visited flood-affected people in the Barak valley, Nalbari and Majuli last week. The state government is doing everything possible to provide relief to those affected, he said on Saturday.
"Assam government is doing everything to provide relief to people affected by floods in the state... All state Cabinet ministers and our MPs and MLAs are meeting the people affected by floods in the state and helping them out," he told journalists in Guwahati.
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