Saturday, September 22, 2012

Army rescue teams deployed as flood situation worsens in Assam

GUWAHATI, September 22, 2012

Army and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) rescue teams were deployed in upper Assam\'s Tinsukia and Dhemaji districts on Friday to rescue thousands of people marooned by flood waters as the overall flood situation turned critical in the State following incessant rain for past more than a week.

A swollen Brahmaputra has submerged vast areas of Majuli following a breach in an embankment at Sonowal Kachari village of the island on Thursday. The administration cautioned the residents of the river-island to stay alert.

Principal Secretary, Revenue and Disaster Management, V.K. Pipersenia, told The Hindu that six columns of the Army have been deployed for rescuing marooned people at Sadiya in Tinsukia district and in Jonai sub-division. Four NDRF teams were deployed for rescue operations. Army and NDRF boats tried to negotiate the strong current of flood waters in Sadiya. As strong current prevented them from reaching out to the marooned people in Sadiya from Tinsukia side, the rescue teams approached the flood-hit areas from Arunachal Pradesh side and rescued some people.

Mr. Pipersenia said the services of Indian Air Force (IAF) were requisitioned but the IAF choppers could not carry out any operation during the day because of bad weather.

Over five lakh people in 13 districts have been affected in the current and fourth wave of floods in the State. In addition to the breach in the embankment in Majuli, the Brahmaputra has breached an embankment at Dolopa in Sivasagar district and a ring bund at Chawalkhowa near Bogibeel in Dibrugarh district, while river Nona breached an embankment in Kamrup district. Flood situation was also critical in lower Assam\'s Kamrup, Baksa and Barpeta districts.

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