Million displaced by floods in India


Floods have forced more than one million people to flee their homes in northeastern India, where authorities have called a health alert, officials said on Monday. “So far 18 of 27 districts of Assam have been hit by floods with more than one million displaced and 11 people drowned in separate incidents in the past week,” the Disaster Management agency said in a statement. Rescue officials said about 2,000 villages had been hit by overflowing waters from the rain-swollen Brahmaputra River. Himanta Biswa Sarmah, the health minister of Assam state, told AFP that a “maximum health alert” has been sounded in the devastated zone. Other officials said the affected people had been evacuated to temporary shelters on higher embankments and to schools and colleges unaffected by the second round of floods since July in Assam, which borders Bangladesh. Nearly 130 people were killed and six million displaced by the floodwaters in Assam two months ago, which came during India’s June-September monsoon. “We have dispatched doctors and paramedics to ensure that there is no outbreak of disease,” Sarmah said in Guwahati, Assam’s largest city.