File photograph: Floods in Assam

Around four lakh people in 17 districts are still in distress even as the situation in Assam, which faced an over month long spell of devastating floods, has improved in the past 11 days due to a break in the monsoon, officials said on August 3.

The Assam Kaziranga University admissions

According to the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) officials, of the four lakh affected people in 17 of the 33 districts, 3.40 lakh are in the state’s seven districts – Goalpara (172,866), Morigaon (48,198), Bongaigaon (49,815), South Salmara (23,104), Baksa (16,000), Golaghat (14,700) and Barpeta (14,427).

A total of 32,028 hectares of crops in around 500 villages are still inundated.

The let-up in the monsoon rains caused the improvement in the annual flood situation in Assam and other northeastern states, India Meteorological Department (IMD) officials said.

The ASDMA officials said that four major rivers, including the Brahmaputra, are still in spate at many places in five districts, including Sonitpur, where both the Brahmaputra and Jia Bharali are flowing over the danger level for the past several weeks.

With one more death on August 3 in Bongaigaon district, the floods have so far left 110 persons, including women and children, dead in 22 districts, while 26 others were killed in landslides since May 22.

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Forest officials said that at least 150 wild animals have died due to the deluge and 172 have been rescued, even as over 50 per cent of the 884 sq km Kaziranga National Park remains inundated. On July 24, 95 per cent area of the park had been flooded.

The animals that have died in the annual monsoon floods include 18 rhinos, 105 hog deer, 11 wild boars, six wild buffaloes, three porcupines and two swamp deer.

Officials said that besides Kaziranga, located on the edge of the eastern Himalayan bio-diversity hotspots of Golaghat and Nagaon districts, the Manas, RG Orang and Tinsukia national parks, and the Pabitora and Tinsukia wildlife sanctuaries were also affected.

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