- NET Web Desk
Bright orange-coloured lifeboats sailing through floodwaters with rescuers on board, offering food packets and jackets, are the only sources of hope for people in flood-ravaged Assam.
Heavy rains and persistent rainfall have affected nearly 86 lakh people across 32 districts of Assam, impeding lives. While, the death toll rose to 159.
A 68-year-old lady from flood-hit Silchar – Manjurani Nath was struggling to relocate into a safer location alongwith her ailing husband, when NDRF personnel reached-out for her assistance.
Villages have been inundated, crops destroyed, and infrastructure has been damaged in the current spell of flood crisis.
Over the past few weeks, personnel from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), Army & Paramilitary Forces with assistance from police & fire brigade personnel, trained volunteers have evacuated nearly 97,933 individuals from the flood-ravaged areas of Brahmaputra and Barak river basins.
According to the Assistant Commandant of an NDRF 01 battalion – Santosh Singh, its personnel have been maintaining tactical positions in the state’s vulnerable districts.
“Since May, we have occupied strategic locations in the precarious districts of Jorhat, Bongaigaon, Barpeta, and Cachar. We relocated to the Central Assam districts of Nagaon, Hojai, and Morigaon (in June) when the situation deteriorated,” he said.
A total of 22 NDRF teams are currently deployed in Assam, with nine in Silchar, he said.
“As many as 600 trained personnel are tirelessly working to evacuate flood-affected victims, and night-long operations are underway in some of the impacted regions. More than 20,000 people have been evacuated and nine saved from drowning,” he stated.
A medical team that accompanies the rescue personnel provides “pre-hospital responses” to the affected population, including pregnant women and elderly citizens, Singh explained.
NDRF personnel are also involved into the delivery of relief items, he said.
“There are several challenges, especially when there are strong water currents and unexpected flash floods. Despite this, our teams are highly driven. They are working tirelessly to save lives, at times even endangering their own,” he continued.