Assam, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh gasp for breath as floods claim 6 more lives
August 19, 2017 | 10:18 PM
by PTI
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath inspecting the flood-affected areas in Gorakhpur on Saturday. Photo - PTI

Guwahati/Kolkata/Lucknow: Six more deluge-related deaths were reported on Saturday in Assam and West Bengal, even though the overall situation improved in the two states with floodwaters receding at several places.

However, there was no let up in flood fury in the eastern region of Uttar Pradesh as raging waters of the rivers emanating from Nepal caused havoc in vast swathes of human habitation. The third wave of floods in Assam has claimed 63 lives so far. Around 2.2 million people are bearing the brunt of flooding in 16 districts.

According to a report by the Assam State Disaster Management Authority, one person each died in Dhubri, Morigaon and Golaghat, taking the number of deaths in this year's flood-related incidents to 147.

Till Friday, 26 lakh people were suffering in 20 districts of Assam. In Morigaon, which has been hit hardest by the floods, 529,000 people have been marooned. 507,000 people have been affected in Barpeta.

Currently, 1,791 villages and 118,000 hectares of crop area are inundated. The Kaziranga National Park and Pobitora and Lawkhua wildlife sanctuaries are also under floodwaters. The figure of flood casualties since July 22 has risen to 55 in West Bengal, with three more persons dying due to the deluge. The overall flood situation has, however, abated as there has been no major rainfall over the past two days, officials said.

Over 5.2 lakh million have been hit by the floods in six north Bengal districts of Coochbehar, South Dinajpur, North Dinajpur, Jalpaiguri, Alipurduar and Malda. The officials said the swirling waters have destroyed over 75,000 houses and damaged over 215,000 houses.

Meanwhile, a report from Malda said the river Mahananda, water of which have flooded the Gajol block, is rising. Water levels in a river at Harirampur of South Dinajpur district is also increasing. The Eastern Railways is running trains up to Malda from Kolkata. Services beyond Malda remained suspended owing to the inundation of railway tracks in north Bengal, Bihar and Assam. Train services in north Bengal and Assam from Howrah and Sealdah stations remained suspended for the seventh consecutive day on Saturday, an ER spokesman said.

According to reports from Uttar Pradesh, Army choppers, NDRF and PAC jawans continued relief and rescue operations in 22 flood-affected districts of the state. A population of over 1.5 million has been hit, sources in the government said. Release of water in the rivers emanating from Nepal and incessant rains impeded rescue work and evacuation of people to safer areas, they said.

Eleven companies of the NDRF, 17 companies of the PAC (flood) along with two choppers of the Indian Air Force and several columns of the Army were working round-the-clock to save lives and properties in the affected areas. The Sharda, Ghagra and Rapti rivers were flowing above the red mark at sevral places, a Central Water Commission report said.

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