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The flood death toll in Assam state of India touched 179 on Sunday with five more people reported drowned or washed away in the last 24 hours. Landslides killed 18 of them, The Hindu reported.

Officials of the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) said the flood situation eased marginally, bringing down the number of affected districts from 27 to 26 in a day.

“About seven lakh [i.e., a hundred thousand] people across 1,618 villages remain affected. Out of these, 2.78 lakh people are in 413 relief camps,” an ASDMA spokesperson said.

So far, 1.38 lakh houses have been totally or partially damaged.

In southern Assam’s Silchar town, the local authorities have cautioned people to be wary of the rising water level in the Barak river. The river was flowing slightly above the danger mark of 19.83 meters on Sunday.

The police had on Saturday arrested one person identified as Kabul Khan for allegedly damaging the Bethukandi embankment. Apart from overtopping the embankment at several places, the river forced through the damaged stretch to inundate more than 90% of the town.

Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had a few days ago asked Keerthi Jalli, the Deputy Commissioner of Cachar district, to submit a report estimating the loss suffered by Silchar, the district headquarters, due to the flood, which is considered the worst ever.

While at least 16 people died in the town, the flood is believed to have damaged property worth at least 1,000 crore (ten million) rupees.

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