Amid reports of flood situation in Lower Assam is likely to be worsened as excessive waters has been released from the Kurichhu Hydropower Plant reservoir in Kuricchu River in Bhutan, the Royal Government of Bhutan has issued a weather advisory on June 20, 2023, stating that cloudy weather with light to moderate rainfall may occur in isolated areas of Bhutan in the next 2-3 days, potentially leading to rising water levels in the Brahmaputra and its tributaries.
Informing about the weather conditions in the Bhutan, the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) on Tuesday clarified the flood situation in western Assam is not solely caused by the water release from the dam in Bhutan (Kurichhu), but is also a result of incessant rainfall in both the upper catchment area of Bhutan and Assam.
In a statement, ASDMA said, “The Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) would like to provide clarification to the residents of the state regarding the water release from a dam in Bhutan (Kurichhu) and its impact on the flood situation in Assam. It is important to note that the rise in water levels in rivers such as the Brahmaputra and its tributaries is primarily due to the incessant rainfall in the upper catchment area of Bhutan.”
It also highlighted that reports in local news channels and newspapers have caused panic among the population of Western Assam, linking the rising water levels and floods to the release of water from the Kurichhu Dam, of late.
Meanwhile, ASDMA has advised all the residents living in the riverine areas of Assam to be prepared with emergency kits and avoid venturing into rising waters during this period.
Further, people are urged to refrain from activities such as fishing, collecting firewood, swimming, or crossing rivers unnecessarily during these days.
Till Monday, nearly 31,000 people still were reeling under the deluge across 10 districts of the Assam.
As per the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), more than 30,700 people are hit due to floods in Chirang, Darrang, Dhemaji, Dhubri, Dibrugarh, Kokrajhar, Lakhimpur, Nalbari, Sonitpur and Udalguri districts.
Lakhimpur district is the worst hit with over 22,000 people affected, followed by Dibrugarh with more than 3,800 people and Kokrajhar with almost 1,800 persons, ASDMA said in its report.
Currently, at least 444 villages are under water and 4,741.23 hectares of crop areas have been damaged across Assam.
Massive erosions have been witnessed in Biswanath, Dhubri, Dibrugarh, Golaghat, Kamrup, Karimganj, Kokrajhar, Lakhimpur, Majuli, Morigaon, Nagaon, Nalbari, Sivasagar, Sonitpur, South Salmara, Tamulpur and Udalguri, ASDMA added in the report.
Places in Dima Hasao, Kamrup Metropolitan and Karimganj have reported incidents of landslides due to heavy rainfall.
Embankments, roads, bridges and other infrastructure have been damaged by flood waters in Sonitpur, Nagaon, Nalbari, Baksa, Chirang, Darrang, Dhemaji, Goalpara, Golaghat, Kamrup, Kokrajhar, Lakhimpur, Dibrugarh, Karimganj and Udalguri.
Brahmaputra’s tributary Kopili at Kampur is flowing above the danger mark, the official added.
On the other hand, the India Meteorological Department has issued a ‘Red Alert’ and predicted ‘very heavy’ to ‘extremely heavy’ rainfall across several districts of Assam over the next five days.
In a ‘Special Weather Bulletin’, IMD’s Regional Meteorological Centre (RMC) in Guwahati issued a ‘Red Alert’ for 24 hours from Monday, followed by ‘Orange Alerts’ for the subsequent two days and ‘Yellow Alert’ for Thursday.
‘Red Alert’ signifies taking immediate action, while ‘Orange Alert’ implies to be prepared for action and ‘Yellow Alert’ stands for watch and be updated.