Assam floods fury: Area submerged in water, crops ruined , thousands Affected

Assam is once again hit with a massive flood, due to this several areas have submerged in water,.floods also coincided with the worse COVID-19 pandemic in India. Initial flooding started in May 2020 due to heavy rainfall affecting 30,000 and destroying crops across 5 districts.
Till July, over 26,69,900 People are affected in 27 districts and claiming the lives of more than 60 people.

Assam floods fury

Assam is blessed with abundant scenic magnificence. It has a wealth of rarest and highly endangered species of wildlife including the Pygmy Hog, Golden Langur, Clouded Leopard, Hoolock Gibbon, White-Winged Woodduck, Tiger, Hispid Hare, Swamp Deer, etc.
Assam is a home to the highest population of greater-one horned rhinos. The Rhino Population Estimation opinion, 2018 declared that while Kaziranga National Park had 2,413 rhinos, 102 were in Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary.

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The flood condition in Assam’s Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary and Kaziranga National Park worsened on Monday after floodwaters immersed over 90 percent of their area while in Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary in Morigaon district, over 80 percent area of the wildlife sanctuary is submerged.

In Kaziranga, due to the floods, several wild animals, including one-horned rhino, have caught shelter in highlands constructed inside the park. Others have moved towards the nearby Karbi Anglong hills area. The park authority and district administration had restricted the speed of vehicles on the National Highway 37, which passes through the national park.

As per the Kaziranga National Park authority, floodwaters submerged over 90 percent of the park areas and 166 anti-poaching camps of the total 223 camps.

According to ASDMA (Assam State Disaster Management Authority), more than 3000 villages are affected, 1.28 lakh hectares of agricultural land submerged, and 44 thousand people living in relief camps.

Primal suklabaidya, Assam’s minister of environment & forest says that this is the third wave flood in Assam & it is a recurring problem in the state compared to 2019, this year casualty of wildlife is less. last year we rescued 169 animals while this year we have rescued 143 from Kaziranga.

Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat held a full discussion with Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal protecting the flood situation in the state by a video-conference wherever he said that the center will soon release rs.346 crore for the first phase under  Flood Management Programme ( FPM) scheme to Assam and hold talk with Bhutan to solve the flood problem in lower Assam.

Floods are an annual feature in the state apart from continued and heavy rainfall during the monsoon, there are natural and man-made factors that contribute to this are as follows.

EARTHQUAKES/LANDSLIDES

Assam and some other parts of the northeastern region are liable to frequent
earthquakes, which causes landslides.

BANK EROSION

Assam has also covered bank erosion around the Brahmaputra and Barak rivers and also their tributaries. It is approximated that annually almost 8000 hectares land is lost to erosion estimated hundred crores damage cost due to bank erosion every year, as a river flows the Force of it’s moving water washes away loose Soil from the bank.

DAMS

Unregulated release of water from the dams cause floods to the Assam plains, leaving thousands of people homeless every year.

FOREST ENCROACHMENT

Population poverty and pressure are the main two factors stimulating forestland encroachment. The attack in forest lands and water bodies is another main reason that creates a flood in the state.

Current flood compared to previous ones

While floods are a normal yearly story in Assam, some years witness more disruption than others. In terms of, the floods of 1988, 1998, and 2004 were the most damaging; the 2004 floods alone affected 12.4 million people and claimed 251 lives. The current wave of floods has 57 lakh people and claim affected med 36 lives so far. But experts say that the worst is yet to come.

Measures needed
  • Realizing the severity of the problem, flood control measures in Assam started in 1954 with the announcement of the National Policy for Flood by the Government of India.
  • Construction of Embankments and Flood walls.
  • The government of Assam is planning to dredge the Brahmaputra from Sadiya to Dhubri to increase its storage capacity and mitigate flood-induced damages.
  • Flood forecasting and warning.
  • Flood zoning.

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