Guwahati/Morigaon: The first wave of floods in Assam has claimed one life and affected nearly 68,000 people, submerged rhino habitats at Kaziranga and Pobitora wildlife sanctuaries and overrun vast tracks of human habitation and farm land.
A 12-year old boy was reportedly dragged away by the high current of the Brahmaputra at Jengpuri village in Morigaon district on Sunday and his body was recovered on Monday, official sources said.
The surging waters of Brahmaputra on its northern side and Kopili and Kolong river on the southern part have overrun 60 percent of the 38.80-sq km Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary in the district.
Rhinos, deer, pygmy hog, wild buffaloes and other animals from the Sanctuary, which has the highest density of one-horn Great Indian Rhinoceros population, were taking shelter on the high platforms built for their succor, the sources said.
The elite Assam Forest Protection Force commandos have been put on 24-hour vigil duty to curb poaching in the area. In Kaziranga National Park, flood waters have also forced the animals to take shelter on highlands and in Karbi Anglong hills outside the 430-square km park by crossing National Highway 37, they said.
The park authorities are on alert to protect the animals from deluge and poachers by undertaking day and night vigil and patrolling on boats through the flooded park.
Meanwhile, the flood situation in the state has turned critical with more districts, including Morigaon and Sibsagar, coming under water besides Dhemaji, Golaghat, Jorhat, Kamrup,
Karimganj, Lakhimpur and Tinsukia already affected.
Floods and erosion have devastated human habitation and crop fields in Morigaon's Bhuragaon and Mayong revenue circles affecting about 2000 people, the sources said.


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