Alongside its natural beauty, Assam bears the brunt of a recurring and devastating natural calamity: floods. For decades, the state has grappled with the unrelenting challenge of flood issues, and despite numerous efforts, the problem seems to persist. On Monday, the flood situation in Assam became dire, affecting more than 1.90 lakh people.
Assam’s Flood Situation Turns Grim Again
#AssamFlood situation in the last 24 hours
.#flood #floodrelief #floodpreparedness #floodmanagement #disaster #disastermanagement@ndmaindia @diprassam @mygovassam @PIB_Guwahati @DCKamrupMetro @DCKamrupMetro @DistrictKamrup @CMOfficeAssam @JogenMohanAssam pic.twitter.com/ZUzZxsWcZv
— Assam State Disaster Management Authority (@sdma_assam) August 28, 2023
The mighty Brahmaputra River meanders through the state’s heart. Most rivers now have higher water levels than normal, with many flowing past the danger mark in various sections of the state. This is due to the persistent rainfall in the higher elevations. The Brahmaputra in Dibrugarh, Dhubri, Tezpur, and Nematighat in Jorhat are flowing above the danger threshold.
Nearly 47,400 people have been impacted in Lakhimpur district, 41,000 in Dhemaji district, 28,000 in Golaghat district, 21,500 in Sivasagar district, and 17,800 in Sonitpur district, according to the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA). One person drowned in flood waters in the Sivasagar district over the past 24 hours, bringing the state’s total number of fatalities this year to 15.
As a result of the recent floods, which have affected approximately 1.91 lakh people in 17 districts, the situation in Assam has gotten worse. Floodwaters were said to have breached embankments in two locations in Udalguri and one each in Biswanath and Darrang. The deluge also caused damage to electrical poles, schools, roads, and bridges, among other things.
The Perpetual Challenge Of Flood Issues
An inspection of the severely eroded site at Thapabari and Moshbari areas on the left bank of the river Noa-dehing under Doomdooma Rev. Circle today.
.#erosion #inspection @ndmaindia @diprassam @district_kamrup @mygovassam @PIB_Guwahati @CMOfficeAssam @JogenMohanAssam pic.twitter.com/EGrnWI4KMs
— Assam State Disaster Management Authority (@sdma_assam) August 25, 2023
During the monsoon season, the river swells beyond its banks, inundating vast stretches of land and displacing thousands of people. This annual cycle of destruction has become a distressing reality for the people of Assam.
For decades, the state has grappled with the unrelenting challenge of flood issues, and despite numerous efforts, the problem seems to persist. Floods in Assam are not a new phenomenon; they are deeply woven into the state’s geographic and climatic fabric.
Embankments, commonly constructed to contain the river, often fail due to erosion or breaches during periods of high water flow. In recent years, climate change has added a new layer of complexity to Assam’s flood challenges. Erratic weather patterns and unpredictable monsoons are to be blamed.
While efforts have been made to mitigate the impact of floods, the state has yet to find a sustainable solution to this perennial problem.
Cover image credits: Canva