07/14/2020, 13.26
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Assam: 70 people die from monsoon rains

by Biju Veticad

The Brahmaputra has overflowed. Landslides and floods have forced the authorities to move 1.3 million people to safer areas. At least 385,000 people have been displaced in the Barpeta district alone. About 2,100 residents found shelter in 118 rescue camps. The Archdiocese of Guwahati is providing help. Catholics in the Diocese of Tezpur are safe.

Guwahati (AsiaNews) – At least 70 people have died in Assam in floods caused by persistent monsoon rains. Since May, the authorities have moved 1.3 million residents to safer areas.

Every year, during the monsoon season, the Brahmaputra River overflows, with devastating consequences for neaerby areas. People die from landslides, and crops are destroyed.

So far, with 385,000 displaced people, Barpeta district (western Assam) has been the most affected by the devastation.

“We have moved 2,100 displaced people to 118 relief camps," said Kishor Retha, project head at the Assam State Disaster Management, speaking to AsiaNews.

The Catholic community is also involved in relief efforsts, noted Archibhsop John Moolachira of Guwahati. In particular, the local archdiocese is helping migrant workers who came home after losing their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Archbishop Moolachira, Assam authorities are dealing with the flood emergency in the best possible way.

“This year the monsoon season started very early in May," explained Fr Freddy Madukkakuzhiyil, a recently ordained a priest, member of the SVD congregation.

Currently, he is in Assam. His congregation has a parish in the Diocese of Tezpur, on the northern bank of Brahmaputra, where fortunately they are all safe despite heavy rains and floods.

“Thanks to the support of the diocese and the authorities, internally displaced people are in safe conditions,” the clergyman said. “However, without improved weather conditions, they will not be able to return to their villages.”

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