No less than 152 persons have died in monsoon storms and floods in India’s eastern states, even as 17 rare rhinoceros drowned in a wildlife park, officials said on Tuesday.
The Director of Orissa state (India) Disaster Management, Pradipta Mohapatra, also confirmed that 2.8 million people were displaced in a week of flooding.
He said further that in the north-eastern state of Assam, 34 people died and another 2 million people were affected, while soldiers are currently carrying out rescue operations to move flood victims to government shelters.
According to him, there are efforts also underway to rescue animals from the state’s Kaziranga national park, which is one of the last habitats of the rare one-horned rhino.
Also speaking, wildlife officials, Suvashish Das, said 80% of the park is under water and over 100 animals, including 17 rhinos, have died.
Floods have also damaged large tracts of agricultural land and infrastructure in the northern states of Bihar and Himachal Pradesh, as well as West Bengal state in the east.
Das said that the forest rangers had rescued nine rhinos and several hog deer and were treating them.
He said that Kaziranga is a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to 2,400 one-horned rhinos, as well as tigers, elephants, wild buffaloes and swamp deer.