Flood toll in Assam, Bihar cross 100; red alert in Kerala

The flood situation in Assam and Bihar remained grim on Thursday with the death toll crossing the 100-figure mark while three districts in Kerala braced for extremely heavy rains with the IMD issuing a red alert for the next three days.

Parts of north and eastern India were lashed by rains and the Army was called out in Punjab’s Sangrur district following a 50-foot breach in the Ghaggarriver that inundated over 2,000 acres of agricultural field and inhabitants of a few nearby villages fled fearing flood threat.

A total 78 people have died so far in the flash floods that have hit Bihar in the wake of torrential rainfall in adjoining Nepal, the state disaster management department said.

Of Assam’s 33 districts, 28 remained under the grip of floods that has displaced nearly 54 lakh people and killed 36 people.

The mighty Brahmaputra and its tributaries are flowing above the danger mark in Guwahati and other parts of the state, and according to the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), 53,52,107 people are reeling under the impact of the deluge.

Nine fresh deaths — three from Morigaon, two from Biswanath, and one each from Sonitpur, Udalguri, Bongaigaon and Barpeta districts — were reported on Thursday, the ASDMA said.

Meanwhile, in Kerala, the IMD has sounded a red alert in Idukki, Pathanamthitta and Kottayam districts which are likely to receive extremely heavy rainfall upwards of 20 cm in the next two to three days.

A red alert is a call to immediately take preventive steps and move people from vulnerable areas to shelter camps and provide them with emergency kits. Other districts are predicted to get isolated heavy to very heavy rains on these days, though a red alert has not been issued for them.