An Assam and Meghalaya flood killed more than 70 people and displaced countless others as heavy rains pounded the northeastern Indian states.
Officials said the flood killed 40 people in Meghalaya, and on Thursday morning, the death toll in Assam rose to 32. More than 100 relief camps have been set up in both states as rising flood waters have forced many others from their homes.
Hundreds of thousands of people were left stranded by the storm, and reports indicated that many of them were forced to camp along National Highway 37, which leads from Guwahati to Goalpara.
Guwahati was one of the hardest-hit areas by flooding rocking Mehhalaya and Assam, officials said.
“Five people have died in Guwahati alone in separate incidents of mudslides and electrocution after neck-deep floodwaters submerged localities,” district magistrate Anga Mathu said.
The chief minister of Meghalaya called the flood the worst in recent memory.
“So far, 35 people have died in separate cases of drowning and landslides in the last two days with more than 20 more still missing,” Meghalaya chief minister Mukul Sangma told journalists before the death toll was updated on Thursday.
“We have put the entire region on a state of maximum alert,” he said.
Officials in Assam are also working around the clock to help those affected.
“We are taking all relief and rescue measures in the flood-hit districts,” said Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi.
The flood in Assam and Meghalaya has also brought together a coalition of national forces, including the Indian Army, Border Security Force, and National Disaster Response Force to help those hit by the flood. Some smaller local groups also joined in, handing out food to stranded families and trying to get as many as possible into shelters.
Officials said the flood in Assam and Meghalaya appears to be abating, but noted that much more work is needed. An estimated 350,000 people have been affected by the rising waters, and many remain without food and electricity.
[Image via WSJ.com]