Assam's Independence Day spirit remains buoyant in the face of floods

Morigaon Wild buffaloes marooned at the inundated Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary in Morigaon district of Assam

The funding, as part of the EU's overall contribution to the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) comes at a crucial time where north-east India requires any aid it can get.

The flood fury continued in Assam as the toll rose to 39 in the second wave of floods and over 3.3 million people continued to be marooned in 24 districts of Assam on Wednesday.

Eight more people were killed in floods in the eastern states of West Bengal and Meghalaya. But one photo that has captured the national pride beautifully comes all the way from flood-hit Assam. "The rest of the students and locals observed the hoisting of the national flag from a road nearby", 49-year-old Tazem Sikdar told the New Indian Express. Vehicles were stranded on the highway and being diverted via Nagaland, official sources said. The district administrations is said to have opened over 700 relief centres, 550 of them alone in Cooch Behar for sheltering the homeless. The official said 30 relief camps have been set up to accommodate those affected.

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The floods have claimed seven lives so far in the north Bengal region, while about one lakh people were affected in the five districts-60,000 of them in Alipurduar and Jalpaiguri alone. Food packets are being airdropped in the affected areas. Around 1.83 lakh hectares of standing crops has been inundated with Morigaon being the worst-affected, followed by Kokrajhar, the ASDMA report said, adding the deluge has affected at least 1.8 lakh domestic animals. More than 14,000 flood-affected people were shifted to safer areas on Tuesday using 232 boats.

The river bed of Brahmaputra is rising gradually and reducing its water carrying capacity, he said.

Breaches and erosion of embankments were reported from Kokrajhar, Nagaon and Golaghat districts.

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