India – Heavy Rain in North East Triggers Floods in Assam, Landslides in Sikkim

Heavy rain has caused flooding and landslides in north-eastern India, leaving at least 1 person dead in Sikkim state and affecting around 10,000 people in Assam state.


In Assam, the Puthimari and Jia Bharali rivers were swollen after heavy rain brought by the remnants of Cyclone Amphan. As of 24 May, the Jia Bharali in Sonitpur, was 77.55 metres, above the danger mark of 77 metres.

According to Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), as of 24 May flooding had affected 10,081 people in 46 villages in the districts of Lakhimpur, Sontipur, Darrang and Goalpara. Earlier flooding had also affected Barpeta district. Roads and bridges have been damaged in Lakhimpur, Sontipur and Goalpara.

A relief camp has been set up in Lakhimpur although as of 24 May there had been no displacements.

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, state authorities have issued new guidelines for relief camps, where each person will be allowed a minimum of of 7 square metres instead of 3.5 square metres previously in order to ensure physical distancing. The camps will be no-spitting and no-tobacco zones, and masks, soaps and sanitisers will be made available. Where relief camps are using tents, all tents will be kept 20 metres apart.

Flooding is an annual occurrence in Assam, usually beginning at the start of the monsoon. However, the current flooding has come around 3 to 4 weeks earlier than normal. Last year the first wave of floods struck in late June and the year before in mid-June.


Heavy rain following Cyclone Amphan has also caused problems in the state of Sikkim.

Press Trust of India reported that a woman was killed and two others suffered injuries in a landslide triggered by incessant rain in Sikkim’s North district on 24 May. Several houses were damaged and evacuations have been carried out.

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