The flood situation in Assam worsened on Thursday, as water entered four fresh districts affecting a total of 1.89 lakh people, while one more person died, taking the number of deaths due to the deluge to 13, according to an official report.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal instructed the authorities of the affected districts to reach out to the flood-hit people on a war footing and adhere to the COVID-19 safety protocols during the relief-and-rescue operations.
The deluge claimed one more life in the worst-hit Dhemaji district, where over 91,000 people are affected, according to the daily flood bulletin of the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA).
The number of flood-hit people in Dhemaji, Jorhat, Majuli, Sivasagar and Dibrugarh districts was 38,000 on Wednesday, while the swirling floodwaters entered Lakhimpur, Biswanath, Golaghat and Tinsukia districts, raising the figure to 1.89 lakh on Thursday.
Tinsukia and Dibrugarh districts were also badly affected, accounting for 24,239 and 18,500 flood-hit people respectively, the ASDMA said.
The flood has submerged 19,430 hectares of farm land with standing crops.
The authorities are running 49 relief camps and distribution centres in five districts, where 11,468 people have taken shelter.
The Brahmaputra river is flowing above the danger mark at Neamatighat in Jorhat district, Dhubri town in Dhubri district and Tezpur in Sonitpur district, the bulletin said. Besides damaging roads and other infrastructure, the floodwaters have caused massive erosion at various places.
Meanwhile, the chief minister took stock of the flood situation and asked the deputy commissioners to provide essential relief materials to the affected people, according to official sources.
He asked the Tinsukia DC to ensure that the fire tenders moving to and from Baghjan, where a gas well has been blazing for the last 30 days, do not face any bottleneck.
A bridge on the way to Baghjan was damaged in the flood and a Bailey bridge should be built there for unhindered movement of the vehicles engaged in emergency services, the chief minister said.
Sonowal also asked the state-owned power utility, Assam Power Distribution Company Limited, to take steps to avert accidents due to electrocution. In view of the coronavirus outbreak, he directed the DCs to ensure that the district machinery assiduously adheres to the COVID-19 safety protocols.