Assam: In an alarming first wave of floods, 444 villages across 18 districts have been submerged, wreaking havoc and anguish. Persistent rainfall over the past two weeks has affected over 30,729 people and flooded approximately 4,741 hectares of farmland, leaving farmers in distress.
Lakhimpur, in northern Assam, suffered the worst impact, with 22,061 people affected. Dibrugarh, with 3,857 affected individuals, and Kokrajhar, with 1,769 affected individuals, also experienced significant damage, as reported by the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA).
Erosion caused by the Brahmaputra River and its tributaries has been recorded in 17 districts across the state, with Dibrugarh and Nalbari facing severe damage. Additional districts affected by erosion include Biswanath, Dhubri, Golaghat, Kamrup, Karimganj, Kokrajhar, Lakhimpur, Majuli, Morigaon, Nagaon, Sivasagar, Sonitpur, South Salmara, Tamulpur, and Udalguri, according to the ASDMA report.
— ANI (@ANI) June 23, 2023
Despite a brief reduction in rainfall in eastern and central Assam, the Guwahati Regional Meteorological Department issued a “red warning” for Western Assam districts, including South Salmara Mancachar, Kokrajhar, Goalpara, Bongaigaon, Barpeta, Baksa, and Chirang. Heavy rain is predicted in isolated areas, further worsening the flood situation.
The Guwahati chapter of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued orange and yellow warnings for most districts until June 21, 2023, indicating the likelihood of continued rainfall.
Assam’s perennial challenges include not only devastating floods but also erosion, which cripples the state. Each year, approximately 8,000 hectares of land are lost due to erosion. The Brahmaputra River has nearly doubled its coverage area over the past century, widening up to 15 kilometers, posing a humanitarian crisis for those living along its banks.
Recovery efforts will be arduous as Assam grapples with rehabilitation and the restoration of essential services. The government and humanitarian organizations are working tirelessly to provide relief and support to those affected, but the road to recovery will be long for the resilient people of Assam.