Guwahati: With the current spell of floods and landslides claiming 77 lives in Assam, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, accompanied by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, on Monday made an aerial survey of flood affected areas in Assam.

The three leaders made an aerial survey by helicopter of Majuli island, Jorhat, Sibsagar, Lakhimpur and Dhemaji districts, which were among the worst-affected in the floods, senior officials said.

They were also expected to survey the Kaziranga National Park, which has been completely submerged by flood waters. Earlier, Singh and Gandhi reached Jorhat's Rowriah airport from New Delhi by a special flight at around 11:00 AM.

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The Brahmaputra and the Kapili rivers were flowing above danger level at various places.

Later in the day, the two leaders would reach Guwahati and discuss the latest situation with ministers and officials. Singh and Gandhi are scheduled to leave for New Delhi from Guwahati in the afternoon.

The government report said 2,166 villages across 113 revenue circles in the state were hit and 19.37 lakh people affected.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has been deployed in 16 areas and rescue operations are on in nine districts.

Besides, seven teams of army personnel have been deployed in Barpeta, Dhemaji, Dima-Hasao, Sibsagar, Sonitpur and Tinsukia districts.

Large segments of the Kaziranga National Park remained under water. In Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, 80 percent of the area inhabited by rhinos is under water.


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