The number of people displaced by a
new wave of flooding in India has risen to 470,000 as hundreds
more villages were submerged.
Six people have died so far due to
landslides and floods sparked by heavy monsoon rains since last
week in the north-eastern states
of Assam, Tripura and Meghalaya.
The main Brahmaputra river has breached
its banks at several places in Assam, leaving more than 460,000
people homeless since a second
wave of flooding began Friday, an official said yesterday.
10,000 people were displaced in Tripura with floodwaters washing
away up to 50 villages.
At least 800 villages spread over 11 districts in the state have
been hit by the floods," Assam Revenue Minister Mithias Tudu
About 400,000 people were displaced
during the first wave of floods in early June in Assam, but the
waters later receded.
The high river current has breached scores of mud embankments,
aggravating the flood situation," Assam Flood Control Minister
Nurzamal Sarkar said.
Floodwaters have entered the 430-square-kilometre
Park in eastern Assam, drowning five animals - a rhino, a buffalo,
two hog deer and a python.
A vast area of the park is under water with animals fleeing the sanctuary
to hills nearby," park warden NK Vasu said.
Fear of water-borne diseases spreading were compounded as floodwaters
submerged wells in the affected regions.
Water-borne diseases like gastroenteritis, dysentery, jaundice and
typhoid have been reported from flood-affected areas although it
has not assumed epidemic proportions yet," Assam Health Minister
Bhumidhar Barman said.
" We have (sent) our medical teams with stocks of medicines in mobile
vans and in boats to flooded areas - from where we have got reports
of diseases breaking out."
We are setting up medical camps in almost all flood-hit areas," the
minister said, but added that villagers were seeking advice from
local unlicensed doctors rather than visiting trained physicians.
Malaria and Japanese encephalitis claimed
up 60 lives in Assam's flood-affected areas in June.
issued by the Central Water Commission yesterday said 13 channels
of the Brahmaputra river were flowing above the danger
The Brahmaputra is still showing a rising trend although in some
places it was either steadying or falling," the bulletin said.
Copyright © 2003. The Sydney Morning Herald.