First wave of floods hits Assam

May 28th, 2008 - 5:46 pm ICT by admin  

Guwahati, May 28 (IANS) Heavy pre-monsoon rains have triggered flash floods in Assam Wednesday snapping road links and breaching embankments, officials said. A government spokesman said the eastern district of Dhemaji, about 500 km from Assam’s main city of Guwahati, remained cut off from the rest of the state with floodwaters submerging the national highway.

“There has been a breach of about 20 metres in an embankment threatening about 100 odd villages, besides disrupting road links to the district,” Diwakar Mishra, district magistrate of Dhemaji, told IANS by telephone.

Floodwaters of the mighty Brahmaputra river have entered parts of the district although human settlement areas are still not hit. This is the first wave of floods in Assam this year.

“We have sounded a maximum alert and have already kept disaster management teams on standby. We are also taking stock of essentials and other commodities in the district,” Mishra said.

“We are trying to mend the breached mud embankment to ensure that floodwaters do not enter the settlement areas. If the dyke is not repaired, it would have a devastating effect on more than 100 villages,” he added.

The 2,906-km-long Brahmaputra is one of Asia’s largest rivers and traverses its first stretch of 1,625 km in China’s Tibet region, the next 918 km in India and the remaining 363 km through neighbouring Bangladesh before flowing into the Bay of Bengal.

Every year, the floods leave a trail of destruction, washing away villages, submerging paddy fields, and drowning livestock, besides causing loss of human life and property, in Assam.

In 2004, more than 200 people were killed in floods in Assam.

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