Assam Floods June 2013

Update, 4th July 2013:

Assam state government says, as of 2nd July

  • 240 villages were severely affected
  • 3,340 hectare (ha) of farmland under water
  • 3 relief camps set up in Dhemaji
  • Over 700 people are staying in the camps

 

Original Report

Huge amounts of rainfall in the Indian state of Assam in north east India has resulted in severe flooding in Dhemaji, Sisiborgaon, Golaghat, Kamrup, Karimganj and Jorhat .

According to U K Boruah, the Deputy Commissioner for Dhemaji:

“More than 435 hectares of land in Dhemaji and Sisiborgaon have been inundated by the deluge so far. Seven villages in Dhemaji and 12 in Sisiborgaon are worst hit. We have sent officials to these villages to take stock of the situation,”

Many of the villages were flooded by the high waters of the Jiadhol and Gai rivers. Flooding is expected to worsen over the next few days.

According to DNA India

The Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) said that apart from Dhemaji, 70 villages have been affected in Golaghat, Kamrup, Karimganj and Jorhat districts. While about 35,000 people are affected in Dhemaji, nearly 15,000 people are suffering in the other four districts.

Agriculture has already suffered. Official estimate believe the floods have already resulted in huge swathes of land being under water, with estimates ranging from 450 to 900 hectares. Many crops are now under water and more than 5,000 animals and poultry have been affected.

Many of those affected have been displaced, moving to higher ground nearby. There have been no reported casualties as yet.

assam floods
Assam is no stranger to flooding:
An aerial view of flood-affected areas of Assam, July 2012. Photo Courtesy: Press Information Bureau, India

Earlier Floods
Assam and north east India have already experienced severe flooding in recent, as can be seen in my earlier post “Floods in North East India”. On 17th May 2013, well before the expected monsoon rains:

heavy rainfall resulted in the Brahmaputra River in Assam bursting its banks, flooding parts the nearby city of Jorhat. Rainfall reached almost 90cm in 24 hours in areas in the Tripura city of Agartala. This city is especially vulnerable to flooding since it lies on the banks of the Haora River, just over 1 mile from the Bangladesh border.

It is worrying that these floods have come so early in the season, especially for the farming community. Crops have already suffered and in Assam it is believed that 350 hectares of farmland lies under water after sever flooding there.

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Arunachal Pradesh
Also in the north east of India, torrential rain in the mountainous state of Arunachal Pradesh on 24th and 25th June 2013 has resulted in rising river levels of the Dibang and Lohit rivers – two major tributaries of the Brahmaputra river

Floods in South East India
In the south east of India, the state of Andra Pradesh has seen heavy rainfall over the last few days. This has caused rivers to burst their banks and flooded as many as 50 villages, many of which are now cut off from transport links. The worst affected area is the Adilabad district in Andra Pradesh.

Elsewhere in India, the rescue operation in Uttarakhand continues. There is now also much debate in the media as to the causes of the flood disaster.

Sources: Times of India; DNA India