GUWAHATI, India ( Associated Press) – Eight others have died in floods and landslides in northeast India, taking the death toll to 62, officials said on Sunday.
The floods have affected 32 out of 35 districts in the state of Assam, where the banks of the Brahmaputra river eroded, forcing the evacuation of over 30 lakh people. The Indian Army has been sent to assist in the rescue operation and the Indian Air Force is on standby.
The Brahmaputra River flows from the Tibet region of China through India and Bangladesh, flowing approximately 800 kilometers (497 mi) through Assam.
Four people went missing after a boat with nine people capsized on Sunday in Dibrugarh district, 500 kilometers (310 miles) east of the regional capital Guwahati. Police warned that their rescue work was hampered by the strong current.
The torrential downpour is likely to subside in the next few hours.
On Saturday, Assam Governor Himanta Biswa Sarma inspected the affected areas, describing the situation as serious.
“Now our focus is on rescue and relief efforts,” Sarma said. He said more than 20,000 residents have been evacuated by rescue forces and the military.
Monsoon rains affect the region every year between June and September. Rain is important to local crops, but often causes widespread damage.
The rising waters of the river have also affected neighboring Bangladesh, where the government has warned that the situation is likely to worsen in the northeast as well as in Sunamganj and Sylhet districts in the north.
At least nine people have been killed in lightning strikes in parts of Bangladesh since Friday.