Floods worsen, 5 million displaced in India
The flood situation in India's north-eastern state of Assam has worsened, with thousands of people marooned overnight due to breaches in embankments and swollen rivers, leaving an estimated five million people displaced, media reports said Wednesday.
"The overall situation has turned critical with two more people drowned in separate incidents and a couple of major breaches of embankments in western Assam, inundating dozens of villages," Bhumidhar Barman, Assam's relief minister told the IANS news agency.
The breach of a mud embankment in Baska district, near state capital Guwahati, inundated nearly 50 villages and displaced more than 100,000 people, the IANS said in its report.
According to the state government, the fresh wave of floods driven by monsoon rains, has stranded more than five million people in Assam.
Although rescue and relief work has been stepped up, state officials were apprehensive of further flooding as the regional weather office has warned of more rain and thundershowers over the next two days.
Twenty-five of Assam's 27 districts are now hit by the floods, affecting a total area of nearly 600,000 hectares, a government statement said.
Meanwhile, major rivers in eastern Bihar state, which is facing one of its worst floods in 30 years, were in spate after rains lashed various regions in the state on Tuesday.
Officials said that nearly 3 million people have been displaced during the floods which affected over 2,000 villages.
At least 120 people have died in landslides and drownings in the latest spell of floods and heavy rains across five Indian states since July 26, raising the countrywide death toll to more than 570. Local media reports estimate that the fatalities were much higher, at over 850.
The monsoon season in India usually lasts from June until September and exacts a heavy toll, both in terms of human lives and destruction of agricultural crops and property.
DPA Last Mod: 01 Ağustos 2007, 15:25