Misery unites the bizarrely diverse weather patterns in India. While a large part of the country is facing a severe drought, Assam and other parts of the Northeast are facing a deluge. Floods are not new in Assam but this monsoon, the turbulent Brahmaputra and its raging tributaries have wreaked far more havoc than in the past 15 years. Of the 23 districts in the state, 19 have been hit by floods. Over 48 lakh people have been affected and the government has had to open over 300 relief camps.
Standing crop in about 3,23,000 hectares has been completely damaged. It will take months before the exact damage can be assessed. And if floods are there, surely epidemics can’t be far behind. While the raging waters have claimed over 30 lives, encephalitis has struck 70 dead. Chief minister Tarun Gogoi has already asked the Centre to send in its team to take stock of the situation. International agencies like the UNICEF and the UNDP have started assessing the flood damage in Assam before they send in aid.