NEWS

85% Of Kaziranga National Park Under Water As Second Bout Of Floods Hit Assam This Year

15 people have lost their lives due to the floods.

14/08/2017 1:32 PM IST | Updated 14/08/2017 1:39 PM IST
Anuwar Hazarika / Reuters

Even as fresh floods have hit the state of Assam and the government in the state has asked help from the Centre, reports suggest that the situation in the Kaziranga National was critical with most of the park being under water.

The Times of India reports the national park officials as saying that in what could be the worst flooding in years, 85% of the national park is now under water.

The national park is a world heritage site and is home to two-thirds of the world's one-horned rhinos that fall under the vulnerable category. Each year during the rains the rhinos usually migrate to higher grounds.

The Times of India reports that this year too much of the rhino population has migrated to higher lands of the neighbouring Karbi Anglong district given some areas of the park were more than 6 feet under water.

It quoted Kaziranga divisional forest officer, Rohini Ballav Saikia as saying, "In fact, Sunday's flood is one of the worst deluges Kaziranga has experienced since 1988. The situation is very grim after large swathes of the park went under water. We don't know yet how many animals perished in the flood. We will only be able to know after the water level recedes."

While officials don't know the number of animals that may have died in the current floods, during the July floods more than 90 animals including 7 rhinos had died.

Assam has received heavy rainfall since Thursday causing floods in the state that have claimed 15 lives till now. This is the second wave of floods since July.

State chief secretary VK Pipersenia told The Indian Express, "The situation is bad. Though the water-level is slightly receding in upper Assam, it rose throughout Sunday in central and lower Assam. The national highway has been submerged in several places in Kaziranga and Kaliabor. We held a meeting with Army, IAF and NDRF officers in Guwahati on Sunday, and asked them to help whenever required."

Nearly all of Assam's 22 districts have been affected by the floods.

The Hindustan Times reports that more than 1.83 lakh people have been displaced by the recent floods and are taking shelter in 678 relief camps.

The report quoted an Assam State Disaster Management Authority as saying, "Flood waters have submerged 2,734 villages and more than 1.34 lakh hectare of crop area affected. Erosion and breaches of embankments have been reported in 11 districts."

ANI reported that because of the floods, Assam's rail links to the rest of India had been snapped.

The Prime Minister's Office said on Twitter that the Centre was monitoring the situation in Assam, and was providing all sorts of support to the state.

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