Death toll from India's Assam flooding rises to 24

About 25,000 people have fled the area

Army soldiers help a flood-affected villager after heavy rains in the Hojai district of India's Assam state. AFP
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The death toll from floods in India’s north-eastern Assam state rose to 24 on Monday after six more people were killed in rains and landslides that have ravaged the remote mountainous region over the past week.

Of the total 33 districts of Assam, at least 22 have been flooded, the State Disaster Management Authority said.

Towns, villages, roads and railway stations have been swept away in the floods.

The agency said that four people had drowned on Monday in Nagaon district — a region where more than 300,000 people have been displaced.

More than 700,000 people, including 140,000 children from more than 2,000 villages, have been affected, with many left without food, clothing or drinking water.

About 25,000 people have fled the area with the help of disaster response forces and have been taken to 270 relief camps.

Emergency forces are using boats to rescue stranded people and airdropping food and other essentials, the agency said.

The UN children's agency has also sent seven teams of technical specialists and consultants to support emergency response forces.

As much as 25 metric tonnes of aid including food and fuel have been airdropped by the Indian Air Force in Dima Hasao, a picturesque tourist destination isolated due to damaged roads and railway links, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said.

“Reaching out relief to flood and landslide-affected people in Dima Hasao remains our top priority,” Mr Sarma said.

After one of the hottest months in over a century, several parts of the country are reporting heavy pre-monsoon rains that have triggered floods and landslides.

At least 33 people were killed across 16 districts in eastern Bihar state due to gale storms, lightning and heavy rains at the weekend.

In the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand, authorities halted the annual Hindu Kedarnath Yatra pilgrimage on Monday after the weather office issued an “orange alert” for heavy rains and a hailstorm on Tuesday.

“Isolated hailstorm is also likely over Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand on the 23rd and 24th, and over Punjab, north-west Madhya Pradesh on May 23,” the Indian Meteorological Department said.

The Himalayan state is prone to extreme weather. Last year, hundreds of people were killed in flash floods and landslides triggered by rain and snowfall in the state.

Updated: May 23, 2022, 4:15 PM