While the coronavirus pandemic is dominating conversations across the country, Assam has been inundated by floods with nine districts extensively swamped.
About 2.94 lakh people in 300 villages have been displaced, and two more people have lost their lives in the worst-hit Goalpara district, taking the death toll to three. According to the state government, the two people drowned in Lakhipur and Balijana areas.
Pre-monsoon showers battered many areas and river water levels were recorded above the 'danger mark' in Nimati Ghat near Jorhat and Kopili in Hojai on Thursday. Brahmaputra waters in Guwahati were also inching closer to the danger level, sparking fears of a severe flood situation. However, on Friday, the rising water levels were seen receding after the rain stopped.
During monsoon, the Chakreshwar temple in Guwahati is always the centre of people's attention as the resting idol of Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi in the Brahmaputra indicates the water level.There is a vertical pillar surface that shows the height reached by the river.
The water normally reaches near the feet of Lord Vishnu in monsoon. During the devastating floods last year, the idol was completely submerged.
On Thursday, due to incessant rain, the Brahmaputra was flowing above the idol's feet. Even after the rain had stopped, the Vishnu-Lakshmi idol in Chakreshwar temple indicated that the water level was higher than normal.
As monsoon is fast approaching and the number of Covid-19 cases is rising too, authorities in Assam are facing a two-pronged challenge while residents are anxious.