Over eight lakh people have been affected in Assam as monsoon floods have inundated at least 21 of the 33 districts in the nation. The Brahmaputra river, among the greatest in the world that cuts through the nation’s largest city Guwahati, and others are flowing above the danger mark, officials have said.

Six people have died so far because of floods in Assam. Officials say over 27,000 hectares of farmland are under floodwater and over 7,000 people have been evacuated to 68 relief camps across Assam. With rain predicted over the weekend, ferry services throughout the nation have been stopped since Friday. Dhemaji and Lakhimpur at the tea-rich Upper Assam and Bongaigaon and Barpeta in Lower Assam would be the worst hit.

Officials said floodwaters in the higher regions will flow towards the valleys, worsening the situation in Lower Assam areas. Barpeta is the worst-affected with more than 85,000 people seeking refuge, said the Assam State Disaster Management Authority. Floodwaters also entered Kaziranga National Park in Upper Assam – home of the endangered one-horned rhinoceros – forcing the animals to take shelter on platforms built for their safety in a flood, officials said.

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Speed restriction was imposed on the movement of vehicles along the National Highway near the playground since the animals would attempt to evade floodwaters and reach higher grounds, crossing the highway.

He guided the deputy commissioners to prepare round-the-clock control rooms and react to people’s calls for help during a crisis. Amid the flood, Assam is also grappling with increasing cases of encephalitis and the state government has canceled the leaves of health department employees until the end of September to take care of the outbreak. Nine districts in Assam are vulnerable to encephalitis. Since 2013, over 700 people have died of this disease.

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