The Kaziranga National Park in Assam, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the largest home to the one-horned rhinoceros in India, was almost completely flooded on Monday when 13 river and tributaries flowed above the danger mark. As the flooding worsened, at least 51 wild animals were confirmed dead, 100 had been rescued and many tigers and rhinos strayed into nearby villages.
With 95 per cent of the Kaziranga park's 430 sqkm-area now submerged, traffic movement on the National Highway-37 near Kaziranga has also been suspended.
Heavy rainfall over the past week has resulted in severe flooding and the extent of damage spread to 27 of the 33 districts affecting nearly 22 lakh people.
Till Tuesday, the total death count in this year's floods in Assam was 85, with 59 dying in flood related incidents and 26 killed in landslides.
13 rivers in the state, including the Brahmaputra, flowed above the danger mark forcing evacuation of more than 45,000 people to 188 relief camps. The entire Brahmaputra valley region, which includes the Kaziranga National Park, is under water. Some 2,816 villages are completely inundated and over one lakh hectre of cropland has been lost.
Barpeta is among the worst-hit districts with an estimated five lakh people affected.
Several embankments were breached, and roads and bridges were damaged as a result of rising floodwaters, according to reports. Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has ordered repairs of breached embankments on war footing and asked all MLAs and MPs to get involved in rescue and relief operations.
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is carrying out massive rescue operations in Assam.