Flood scene still grim in Assam, toll hits 39

GUWAHATI/KOLKATA: The flood fury continued in Assam as the toll rose to 39 in the second wave of floods and over 3.3 million people continued to be marooned in 24 districts of Assam on Wednesday.
The Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) has cancelled over 70 trains and the Railway Board has directed all zonal railways to cancel trains travelling from various parts of the country beyond Malda (West Bengal) and Katihar (Bihar) till August 20 due to the prevailing flood situation.
According to the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) on Wednesday, 11 people have died in the last 24 hours in different flood affected districts of the state, taking the latest toll to 39.
Besides, 84 people have died in the first wave of floods that hit the state between April to June this year.
The Assam government has pressed into service Army and Border Security Force officials besides the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) officials in relief and rescue operations in different parts of the state.
The flood has taken a serious turn under Kaliabor subdivision in Nagaon district forcing the district administration to announce closure of schools and colleges for next three days.
ASDMA officials said that floods have affected 33,45,442 people so far in 2,970 villages in 24 districts as on Wednesday and 1,38,648 people are still taking shelter in 304 the relief camps.
The flood situation in parts of northern West Bengal also continued to be “alarming” despite a let-up in the incessant rains as many rivers in the area were still flowing well above the danger level, the state government said on Wednesday.
Twelve deaths were reported till Tuesday in the region due to the floods.
“The flood situation in South Dinajpur district is alarming. The water level in Atrayi river in the district is still on the rise. We are facing some issues in supplying relief materials as the road and rail connectivity are cut off since the last two-three days,” state Irrigation Minister Rajib Banerjee said.
Officials in the state Irrigation and Waterways Department said the situation has also worsened in parts of Malda and North Dinajpur districts.
The minister, who toured some of the affected areas of South Dinajpur duing the day, said efforts were on to send relief materials through waterways.