As the devastating floods continue to ravage Assam, the death toll due to the deluge in the state has rose to 87 on July 22. Flooding in the neighbouring state of Meghalaya's West Garo Hills district have claimed five lives in the past week alone.
On July 15, four children drowned in floodwaters in Tikrikilla village, followed by the death of an 18-year-old woman in Demdema village the next day.
"Saddened to see 5 lives lost because of the floods in #GaroHills. Govt has released an ex gratia amount of Rs. 4 Lakhs each to the next of kin of the deceased. We are doing everything to ensure the safety of our citizens during this time. Our condolences to the bereaved families," Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma tweeted on Tuesday evening.
"Loss of lives due to the floods in West Garo Hills, Meghalaya is very disturbing. I have spoken to the Chief Minister, Shri @SangmaConrad and assured him all possible help from the Central government. Nation stands resolutely with the people of Meghalaya in these trying times," Union home minister Amit Shah wrote on Twitter.
Assam's junior Health Minister and MLA Pijush Hazarika have been constantly involved in rescue and relief operations on a boat to evacuate flood-hit people in the state's Morigaon district, 75 km east of Guwahati.
Nearly 90 per cent of the Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve is submerged under flood water. At least 147 animals have been rescued and 120 have drowned.
An advisory from the Central Water Commission (CWC) on Tuesday projected isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall in the state.
The state government has announced compensation of Rs 4 lakh each to the families of the deceased.
The Centre will soon release Rs 346 crore as an initial amount to tackle the flood situation in Assam, which has affected over 56 lakh people in the northeastern state. Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat held a detailed discussion with Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal over the flood situation in the state through a video-conference.
"The chief minister also appealed to the Union minister to allocate funds to the state government to strengthen 5,000 kms of embankments built since 1951 in the state, which will now be turned into road-cum-embankments," the statement said.