Assam floods: devastating overflow and rising COVID, east India’s double whammy

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Assam floods: devastating overflow and rising COVID, east India's double whammy - WeTheWorld Magazine

Eastern Indian states of Assam, Jharkhand, and Bihar have been battered with devastating floods after torrential annual rainfall overflows the adjoining rivers, one of India’s largest – the Brahmaputra.

Image courtesy of Twitter / Assam floods: devastating overflow and rising COVID, east India’s double whammy

Banks of river Brahmaputra are often prone to flooding in some districts of east India including areas of Assam, thanks to the low lying regions and the river’s massive volume. The rainfall is also crucial for agriculture in the region but floods wreak extensive damage. The flood has almost taken away 1.31 lakh hectares of farmland, The Times of India reports.

In the past 24-hours, floodwaters have haunted thousands of villages, killing at least 71 people in Assam – the worst hit, injuring another dozen, according to reports. In Assam, a landslide triggered by floods has killed 26, TOI reports.

Meanwhile, coronavirus cases have surged in the country, touching the grim 1 million mark on Friday. In Bihar, 21764 confirmed cases have been recorded; 19754 cases in Assam and 4624 in Jharkhand, according to federal Health Ministry data.

“We have floods taking a deadly turn and simultaneously we are fighting the pandemic spreading its tentacles everywhere,” Hemant Biswa Sarma, Assam’s health minister told Reuters.

Image courtesy of Al Jazeera English via Twitter.

More than 48 lakh people in 4500 villages have been impacted by floods in 30 districts of Assam, according to reports.

According to the report, millions have been evacuated to makeshift shelters, with a major risk of an outbreak in the sheltering facilities, senior Assam officials have said. All total 9,000 people have been rendered homeless in 19 districts hit by the flood.

At least 70+ wild animals have died after swamps of Kaziranga National Park drowned in the floodwaters and 17 have been rescued, media reports confirmed. Lakhs of animals went missing in the flood-hit districts.

Image courtesy of Twitter/ Assam floods: devastating overflow and rising COVID, east India’s double whammy

According to the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), there has been extensive damage to infrastructure, bridges, roads, embarkment, and culverts have been overthrown in many regions, including thousands of homes, according to reports.

Floods are an annual event in Assam but this year, saying the battle has been challenging would be an understatement, given the times.