Indian state battling floods braces for heavy rain

July 2: The flood-hit Indian state of Assam is on high alert as it braces for more rains in the coming days.

The northeastern state has been inundated by flood waters for several days, affecting more than 600,000 people and killing at least 34.

Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has said the next few days could be “critical” as India’s weather department has predicted more rainfall in some districts.

Assam experiences large-scale destruction to life and property every monsoon due to flooding in its vast network of rivers.

In 2022, floods displaced more than four million people and killed at least 45.

The flood waters left behind a trail of destruction in Assam, as well as parts of neighbouring Bangladesh – submerging villages, destroying crops and wrecking homes.

On Monday, the Assam Disaster Management Authority reported that all the rivers flowing through the state had crossed the danger mark at several places and that at least 19 of the state’s 35 districts had been affected by the floods.

Thousands of people are sheltering in relief camps across the state.

The same day, Mr Sarma said the state was experiencing a “second wave of flooding” due to heavy rainfall in neighbouring Arunachal Pradesh state and some districts in Assam.

He added that the coming three to four days could be critical, depending on the rains.

Mr Sarma said flood waters had inundated several areas of Kaziranga National Park – a world heritage site famous for the Great Indian one-horned rhinoceros – causing animals to migrate from forested areas to nearby hills.

He added that the state and national disaster relief teams were on standby to help people.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has assured the state of the federal government’s help in case of a crisis.

The Indian Meteorological Department has predicted very heavy rainfall in Assam and the neighbouring state of Meghalaya until Friday.

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