ibnlive » India

Jun 30, 2012 at 10:25am IST

Assam faces worst floods in a decade

Guwahati: Torrential rains for one week have led to flash floods in Assam's capital in what may be easily described as the worst floods the state has witnessed in eight years. Almost 23 of its 27 districts are under water. Nearly four lakh people in 2,000 villages are said to be affected and 40,000 hectares of crop land is believed to be destroyed.

The Brahmaputra and its tributaries breached their embankments at several places leading to the worst floods the state has witnessed in eight years.

Rescue operations are being carried out by the Indian Army, the Indian Air Force, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), the state government, and yet, nothing substantial has been achieved so far.

Angry villagers are, meanwhile, desperately moving to higher grounds and struggling to survive in makeshift camps. Around 173 temporary shelters have been set up across the state.

A flood affected villager of Udiana, Mohammed Sabir Ali, said, "I am stuck, how will I survive? I've been forced to move to the railway tracks with my children."

Sahida Begum, another villager of Udiana, said, "I've seen these floods since 2001. There is no water, no food, for me and my kids."

It is a cycle of helplessness and damage that seems to have become a yearly ritual. The battle is difficult for the rescue workers too, as they try their best to pull out the marooned villagers.

P Horo, Assistant Commandant, NDRF, said, "The villagers are stuck inside. The water level is rising. If rescue doesn't reach on time, it will be dangerous."

Almost all flood protection measures taken so far by the government to pre-empt disaster have proven ineffective. Embankments built were breached in a flash. Roads have been cut off and more than 40,000 hectares of crop land has been destroyed.

What is the way out of this yearly cycle of misery? That is the big question we all need to answer.