An episode that plays itself out every year: Assam is reeling under floods, yet again. As the COVID-19 pandemic silently rages in the background, life and livelihood are suffering
People of Matia and Simlitola areas in Assam's Goalpara districtwait for the boat to reach a safe ground. At least 100 people have died and over 2 million affected by the floods, according to Assam State Disaster Management Authority.
The floods have been accompanied by loss of animal life, severe damage to agricultural crops, property and displacement. Absence of flood preparedness and early warning system and delayed relief action by the government compounded the disaster. Photo: Akash Basumatari
Carpenters construct boats. There has been a sudden spike in demand for boats to transport people to safer places. Photo: Akash Basumatari
A boy rows past his submerged farms. The crisis has called out the need for essentials such as safe water, sanitation and physical distancing measures. Photo: Akash Basumatari
Assam has been suffering floods since a sudden spurt of rains in the last week of June. There was flooding in the last week of May too due to pre-monsoon rainfall caused by convective storms. Photo: Akash Basumatari
Yet, the state continues to face a peculiar phenomenon: While eight of the 27 meteorological districts had deficit rainfall this monsoon, almost all districts continue to suffer from some level of flooding. Photo: Akash Basumatari
Scientists, in a 2011 study, had predicted that climate change will affect agriculture, water availability and forests in the North East. The number of drought weeks during monsoon months across North East states will increase by 25 per cent in the future, according to scientists. Photo: Akash Basumatari
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