Six NDRF teams rushed to Assam’s flood-affected areas

New Delhi/Guwahati, Aug 23 (IANS) Even as nearly 5,92,000 people have been affected by the floods in Assam, six teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been rushed to four districts of the state, DoNER Minister Jitendra Singh said on Sunday.

Addressing media persons here, Jitendra Singh said four NDRF teams have been dispatched to Tinsukia, Lakhimpur, Kokrajhar and Kamrup, while one battalion has been stationed in Guwahati to move into action as and when required without loss of time.

The minister for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) said that following heavy rains since August 17, the Brahmaputra river and its tributaries, including the Jia Bharali, Puthimari, Beki and Manas, began flowing above the danger level.

He said the districts of Kokrajhar, Barpeta, Dhubri, Sonitpur, Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Dibrugarh and Tinsukia have been the most affected but damage has been limited due to immediate response by various agencies, including the NDRF.

According to the Assam State Disaster Management Authority’s (ASDMA) latest flood report on Sunday evening, 15 districts have been affected — Dhemaji, Kokrajhar, Nagaon, Lakhimpur, Dibrugarh, Bongaigaon, Sivasagar, Sonitpur, Barpeta, Jorhat, Goalpara, Morigaon, Dhubri, Kamrup and Golaghat.

The DoNER minister said over 600 people have been evacuated from flood-affected areas and relief materials have been distributed.

In addition, medical and paramedical teams were being moved to flood-affected areas and a plan was being worked out to preempt the onset or spread of epidemics in the aftermath of the floods, he said.

Jitendra Singh said the Assam government has been asked to furnish a detailed report of the damage in the form of a memorandum, and once this was received, the central government would accordingly plan out further help and assistance.

On Thursday, Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal met Home Minister Rajnath Singh and apprised him of the flood situation.

According to Sonowal, Rajnath Singh sought a report from the Assam government after which the centre would send assistance to the state.

Sonowal said he has written to Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi seeking a report on the flood situation.

According to Sunday’s ASDMA report, four people have lost their lives in the current floods — one each in Goalpara and Morigaon and two in Kokrajhar.

The authorities have set up 238 relief camps and in Kokrajhar, Bongaigaon, Dibrugarh, Dhubri, Bongaigaon and Nagaon, where 152,072 people are taking shelter.

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