The severe Assam and Bihar floods continue to wreak havoc in the states. As of Monday, the deluge has claimed 177 lives. 1.07 crore people are still battling the crisis. The death toll in Bihar has reached 104 while in Assam a total of 66 people have died. Animals have also lost their lives due to excessive rains. In Assam, 204, including 15 rhinos, died in the Kaziranga National Park.
96,890 people are displaced in Assam and are sheltered in 757 relief camps and relief distribution centres set up by district administrations. A total of 2,283 villages and 1.14 lakh hectare agricultural fields are still filled with water in the flood-hit districts.
Areas with maximum flooding in Assam and Bihar
The mighty Brahmaputra River is flowing above the danger level at Neamatighat in Jorhat district and Dhubri district, Jia Bharali at N T Road Crossing in Sonitpur district and Kopili at Dharamtul in Nagaon district of Assam. In Bihar, the number of people affected by the floods has increased to 76.85 lakh. However, the number of people in relief camps has reduced as the water level is receding, according to Disaster Management Department officials.
Relief measures for floods
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Bihar State Disaster Response Fund personnel are working continuously to carry out relief and rescue operations. They are equipped with a total of 124 boats.
Why is Assam flood-prone?
Assam falls prey to excessive floods nearly every year. One of the main reasons for this is that 31.05 lakh hectares of the total 78.523 lakh hectares area of the state is prone to frequent floods. While this is a natural cause, man-made reasons also play a significant role in the intensity of floods. Unregulated release of water from dams flood the plains in Assam. Encroachment in forest lands and water bodies is also another key factor.
Why is Bihar flood-prone?
Bihar is considered India’s most flood-prone state. 76% of the population in the North Bihar live under the recurring threat of flood devastation. The major reasons for the floods in Bihar are deforestation, siltation in river beds and the presence of the Farrakhan barrage. The barrage has led to an increase in flood frequency and magnitude.
Relief measures – What we can do to help
Several relief funds have been commissioned to help people donate money to the flood-hit states. Official government relief funds include Chief Minister’s Relief Fund, Assam and Chief Minister’s Relief Fund, Bihar. NGO’s like Goonj are collecting both money and other essentials like food, clothes and medicines for the people. Other user-based sites like Paytm and Zomato have also taken up the initiative to contribute money and food to the victims.