India – Hundreds Displaced in Assam as Rivers Rise

Over 700 people have been moved to relief camps in the state of Assam, north eastern India, after flooding caused by the overflowing Brahmaputra, Barak and Jia Bhoreli rivers.

According to the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), as of 26 June, 2019, flooding has affected around 5,000 people in 12 villages of Chirang and Jorhat districts.

Around 550 people had moved from their homes to stay in relief centres set up in Bijni, Chirang district, and a further 183 were staying in camps in Jorhat West, Jorhat district.

Rail connections have been suspended after stretches of railway track were washed away. Crops and livestock have also suffered damage.

India’s Central Water Commission reported that the Brahmaputra river at Neamatughat stood at 85.14 metres, as of 26 June, above the danger mark of 85.04 metres.

Meanwhile the Jia Bhoreli (also known as Jiabharali and Kameng) river in Sonitpur district reached 77.45 metres on 26 June, above the 77 metre danger mark. The record high for this location is 78.5 metres set in July 2007.

Flooding regularly affects thousands, if not millions, of people in Assam around this time each year. Some of the worst flooding in recent years was seen from July to August, 2017. By early August 2017, 84 people had lost their lives and over 2 million people affected in 29 districts across the state.

Floods in Majuli, Assam 13 July, 2017. Photo: Government of India