Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Recent - Rare - Desert Floods in YEMEN

Flash floods hit north-east India

Tens of thousands of people have been displaced after floods inundated more than 70 villages in the north-eastern Indian state of Assam.

Three districts- Kamrup, North Lakhimpur and Sonitpur - have been affected by the floods.

A senior official said an embankment of the Putimari river was breached late on Tuesday following incessant rains.

Floods in India usually occur during the monsoon season, which generally lasts from June to September.

Flood waters have displaced nearly 70,000 people, damaged crops, and cut off a national highway linking Assam with the rest of the country, officials say.

Paramilitary and local civil defence forces have been called in for rescue operations. Two relief camps have been set up in the Puthimari area.

"It all started overnight and we are trying to shift the people to safer places," Hemkanta Pegu, a civil servant in Lakhimpur district told the Reuters news agency.

Officials say that temporary shelters for the homeless have been set up in schools and government buildings.

They say that many people are camping on highways under plastic sheets with whatever belongings they had managed to salvage from the flood waters.

The regional weather office has warned of more showers in the next 48 hours in the region.

Officials have blamed the latest flooding on the release of excess water from dams by power generating companies in the nearby state of Arunachal Pradesh and in neighbouring Bhutan.