India – Third Wave of Flooding Hits Assam, 2 Million Affected

Thousands of people have once again been forced to evacuate their homes after further flooding in the Indian state of Assam.

This is the third wave of flooding in the state since the start of the 2017 monsoon. As of 06 August 2017, 84 people had lost their lives and 29 districts in the state had been affected by heavy rains and floods during this monsoon season.

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

Third Wave – August 2017

After a short respite period during early August, heavy rain began to fall once again from 10 August and Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) says that 2,734 villages in 21 districts are now flooded with around 2 million people affected.

Almost 700 relief camps have been set up and are currently housing 183,584 people. Two-hundred and eighteen of the camps are in the hardest hit district of Kokrajhar, housing 83,158 people. Almost 55,000 people are in relief camps in Dhubri and 15,000 in Dhemaji districts.

Ten fatalities have been reported over the last few days: 6 in Kokrajhar, 1 in Biswanath and 3 in Bongaingaon.

Teams from State and National Disaster Response Forces (SDRF and NDRF), along with Indian Army and local authorities have rescued or evacuated 3,830 people, with 1,269 of them in Bongaingaon and 1,300 in Dibrugarh districts.

India Army flood rescue in Assam, India, August 2017. Photo: India Army
India Army flood rescue in Assam, India, August 2017. Photo: India Army

Dozens of roads and bridges have been damaged causing major transport problems. Over 140 boats have been deployed for rescue teams. River embankments have been damaged in 11 districts

The Indian Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi tweeted that the Central Government has been closely and constantly monitoring the situation and that all possible support is being provided to Assam for overcoming the flood situation prevailing in parts of the state.

“Ever since Assam has witnessed flooding, the Central Government has been closely and constantly monitoring the situation. All possible support is being provided to Assam for overcoming the flood situation prevailing in parts of the state.” the Prime Minister said.

Rivers

The Brahmaputra and its tributaries are flowing above danger levels after heavy rain in the state and in catchment areas upstream.

On 10 August, India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued an Advisory Forecast for Rapid Rise in Water Levels of Rivers in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, North Bengal, Sikkim, Meghalaya, Eastern UP and North Bihar. IMD said:

“River Brahmaputra is likely to flow in Moderate to High to Unprecedented  flood situation in the  districts of  Dibrugarh, Jorhat, Golaghat, Nagaon,  Morigaon, Kamrup, Goalpara and Dhubri of Assam during 10th to 20th August 2017.”

As of 14 August, India’s Central Water Commission reported that 21 river forecasting stations in Assam were at or above warning levels.

The Brahmaputra at Tezpur in Sonitpur stood at 66.12 metres on 14 August. Danger Level is 65.23 m and record level 66.59 m, set in 1988.

The Brahmaputra at Neamatighat, Jorhat, was 86 metres on 14 August. Danger Level is 85.04 metres.

The Kushiyara river at Karimganj ( Karimganj district) stood at 15.33 metres, above the danger mark of 14.94 m.

The Sankosh at Golokganj, Dhubri district reached 30.23 metres on 14 August, above the danger mark of 29.94 and close to record levels of 30.95 (set in 2007).

Rainfall

11 to 12 August

  • North Lakhimpur – 86.0 mm
  • Dibrugarh / Mohanbari – 63.0 mm

10 to 11 August

  • North Lakhimpur – 74.0 mm
  • Dibrugarh / Mohanbari – 57.0 mm

09 to 10 August

  • North Lakhimpur – 55.8 mm