07/22/2020, 15.36
INDIA
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Assam Monsoons: Floods affect over 7 million people (Video)

by Nirmala Carvalho

87 have died so far. Over 47 thousand inhabitants are welcomed in 649 refuge centers. Damage to national parks. Catholic authorities: About 2.2 million children, out of a total of 5 million, are suffering from the floods. Flooded villages lack clean water and sanitation. The rice fields are destroyed.

Guwahati (AsiaNews) - A flood of epic proportions is devastating Assam. Torrential rains have left 7 million residents facing severe difficulties; 87 people have died so far.

2,678 villages in 24 districts have been hit: Barpeta, Morigaon, Nagaon, Dhemaji and Darrang are the areas that have suffered the greatest damage. Over 47 thousand inhabitants were welcomed in 649 refuge centers.

The flood submerged 90% of the Kaziranga national park, 19 forest areas of the Orang and 12 of the Pobitara Wildlife Santuary. There are 120 animals found drowned dead, including 9 rhinos; 147 those rescued by wildlife rangers.

The authorities expect copious rainfall again for the next 2-3 days. The Brahmaputra River and its tributaries are still above the guard level.

Speaking to AsiaNews Father Varghese Velickakam, director of the Justice and Social Development arm of the North East India Regional Bishops Council, said that Assam is one of the most vulnerable Indian states to monsoon rains: "More than 9% of its surface is subject periodic flooding. This year, the concurrent coronavirus pandemic makes the monsoon emergency even more complex. The biggest concerns are for children. About 2.2 million children, out of a total of 5 million, are suffering from the floods ".

Fr. Varghese is also coordinator of the Assam Inter Agency Group (Iag), which is evaluating the impact of the flood on the territory and its population. The collected data will allow to identify the needs of the affected communities. At present, the work of the IAG covers 146 villages in 12 flooded districts. The most serious problem remains that of rescuing and transporting people - especially the elderly - to care facilities. Flooded villages have no drinking water and their sewage systems are unusable. The rice fields, a source of livelihood for the local population, have been destroyed.

livelihood for the local population, have been destroyed.

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