India – Over 400,000 Affected as Floods Worsen in Assam

The flood situation has worsened in the state of Assam, India, where authorities report over 400,000 people are now affected across 1,089 villages in 26 districts. Rivers are at record high levels in Nagaon district.

Heavy rain, flooding and landslides have also affected other parts of the region, including Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Meghalaya states in India, and Sylhet Division in Bangladesh.

Troops from the Assam Rifles rescue flood victims by boat in Cachar District, Assam, India, 17 May 2022. Photo: Assam Rifles

Assam, India

Heavy rain, flooding and landslides have affected Assam since 13 May 2022. Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) reported 24,681 people affected by floods in 94 villages across the districts of Cachar, Dhemaji, Hojai, Karbi Anglong West, Nagaon and Kamrup. Three people lost their lives in a landslide in Dima Hasao district. The worst of the flooding occurred in Cachar district where the Barak River broke its banks.

Flooding has continued or worsened in areas of the state since then, and as of 17 May, ASDMA reported 403,352 people were affected, including 96,697 in Cachar, 88,420 in Hojai, 58,975 in Nagaon and 56,960 in Darrang.

Over 170 relief camps have been set up and were housing 39,558 displaced people as of 17 May, including 31,111 in Hojai and 7,589 in Cachar.

Further fatalities have also been reported in the state as a result of the heavy rain and flooding, including 2 fatalities and 3 missing in Cachar and one fatality in Udalguri.

India’s Central Water Commission said the Kopili River at Kampur in Nagaon reached its highest ever levels on 17 May 2022, standing at 62.07 metres, well above the danger mark of 60.5 metres, and above the previous record high of 61.79 metres set in July 2004.

Levels of the River Kopili at Kampur in Nagaon district of Assam, India, May 2022. Image: CWC

Arunachal Pradesh, India

India’s National Disaster Response Force reported landslides triggered by incessant rainfall killed three members of a family in Itanagar in the state of Arunachal Pradesh on 16 May 2022. Other landslides in the area caused damage to houses. Two workers died after a landslide buried part of a road near Itanagar.

Meghalaya, India

Local media reported heavy rain caused flooding and damages in areas of Meghalaya state from 12 May. One person died in a landslide in Jongksha village in Mawkynrew subdivision of East Khasi Hills district. Another died after rain caused a tree to fall in Ri-Bhoi district.

On 14 May officials reported one person drowned in a swollen river in East Khasi Hills district and another person was reported missing in the incident.

Nagaland, India

Heavy rainfall triggered several landslides in Peren District, Nagaland State, India, from 15 May 2022, causing multiple road blocks. Military personnel from the Assam Rifles were deployed to clear the debris.

Sylhet Division, Bangladesh

Local media in Bangladesh reported flooding in Sylhet Division after a prolonged period of heavy rainfall in Bangladesh and catchment areas in neighbouring India. As of 16 May the Surma and the Kushiara rivers were both above the danger mark.

Media said thousands of people in Zakigonj, Gowainghat, Jaintapur, and Companiganj upazilas (districts) have been affected, with more flooding expected, in particular in Jaintapur. Road access has been cut in some areas. Sylhet District Administration had allocated 79 tons of rice for those affected by the floods.

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