The worst monsoon rains in a decade leave 2 million homeless | ActionAid UK

The worst monsoon rains in a decade leave 2 million homeless

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An estimated two million people have been forced to leave their homes following the worst monsoon floods to hit Assam state, India, in a decade.

Monsoon floods affect Assam’s states population of 26 million people hard almost every year. However, this year’s monsoon has been the worst the area has experienced in at least 10 years.

Officials say 81 people have been killed over the past four days of flooding. Most were swept away when the Brahmaputra River breached its banks - flooding villages.  At least sixteen people were killed in landslides triggered by the rains.

Embankments and dykes have been weakened by rising waters and are giving way in different locations submerging hundreds of villages across the state.

One of the worst-hit areas is Dhemaji district, where the Brahmaputra River has swept away entire villages. 

Media reports officials saying the entire Majuli island, one of the world's largest river islands, was flooded as water levels in the Brahmaputra rose above the danger level.

Many of the homeless are living in temporary camps set up by aid agencies across Assam state; millions of people have moved in with relatives or are living in open spaces across Assam.

ActionAid India report there is an urgent need for tarpaulin, baby food, medicine and firewood.

Thousands of cattle have died – swept away by the overflowing river and flood water.

There are reports of cattle and livestock stuck in the mud. Media reports the strong stench of rotting animal carcasses.

There is concern about water becoming contaminated and for the potential spread of disease.

ActionAid's response

ActionAid India and its partner organisations are carrying out assessments across the flood affected areas to determine the urgent needs of people impacted by the floods.

ActionAid partners are using boats to launch search and rescue operations and to reach people trapped by floodwater.

First aid kits, life jackets, life buoys and torches have been distributed to 4,000 families.