Guwahati: The flood situation in Assam, where 23 of the 27 districts are in the grip of floods, further deteriorated on Thursday with incessant rains claiming six more lives taking the death toll to 26.
Official sources said the toll rose after two persons were washed away by the Brahmaputra river in Morigaon district, while three others lost their lives in Cachar and one in Nagaon district.
Nearly five lakh people have been hit by the first wave of floods this year in the worst affected districts of Lakhimpur, Dhemaji, Dibrugarh, Jorhat, Sibsagar, Sonitpur, Nagaon, Kamrup (rural), Nalbari, Barpeta and Dhubri, the sources said.
The Air Force and the Army have been deployed to rescue marooned people, the sources said, adding that the district administrations have sounded an alert. A round-the-clock vigil has been launched to rescue those affected in the first wave of flood.
The Indian Air Force has deployed helicopters to rescue marooned persons, including a pregnant woman who was stuck in the flood waters of Dibong river in upper Assam, public relation officer Ranjib Sahoo said.
The army rescued 5000 marooned people from Biswanath Chariali in Tezpur. More than 45,000 people have been stranded there by the overflowing Brahmaputra river, defence sources said.
Official sources said surface communication of South Assam's Barak valley, parts of Tripura, Mizoram and Manipur were cut off from the rest of the country as flood water submerged railway tracks in various areas.
There are reports of a number of people going traceless after being washed away, official sources said.
Railway sources said more than 2,000 train passengers have been stranded at Maibong and Haflong railway stations since last night as train services between Silchar and Lumding was suspended due to landslide.
The Kaziranga National Park (KNP) in upper Assam, a world heritage site, and the Pabitora wildlife sanctuary in Morigaon have been almost submerged endangering the lives of wild animals, including the one-horned rhinos.
KNP forest guards using boats rescued several deer and other animals trapped in the water and released them in higher reaches, forest department sources said.
The situation in Majuli island in Jorhat district, Asia's largest river island housing heritage Vaishnavite monasteries, improved slightly on Thursday as the water level of Brahmaputra did not rise after a let up in rains for some time during the day, official sources said.
A 70-member National Disaster Response Force team from Kolkata reached there today and deployed eight boats to rescue the marooned people, the sources said.
The island has a population of about one lakh among whom about 70,000 living in 60 villages have been marooned. The monasteries are, however, located in the middle of the island are safe as the floods have affected the low lying areas near the river, the sources said.
An old woman and two children were washed away by the flood water there on Wednesday.