Thirteen fishermen, stranded on a sandbar due to rise in water levels of Brahmaputra river in Assam’s Dibrugarh, were rescued by an Indian Air Force helicopter on Tuesday morning, official said.

Assam has been reeling under a second wave of floods since Sunday. (Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA))

According to Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) officials, the IAF conducted the rescue operation following a request by the state government after efforts to reach the fishermen by boats had failed on Monday.

“ASDMA requested IAF to airlift these 13 stranded fishermen. A medical checkup has been done and all are safe,” said an ASDMA official.

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The fishermen had been left stranded on the sandbar, which is located in the middle of the Brahmaputra, since Friday after water level on the Brahmaputra rose due to heavy rainfall.

According to ASDMA, the water level in Brahmaputra has been hovering above 105 metres for the past five days and has also crossed the danger level of 105.70 metres at Dibrugarh several times. The exact number of times can’t be ascertained as it changes depending on the water flow in the river.

“This is due to high rainfall in the upper catchment areas of the Brahmaputra, namely Siang and Lohit (rivers) and other tributaries in Arunachal Pradesh. The other nearby rivers like Burhidihing and Sessa are also flowing above the danger level,” ASDMA stated.

On Sunday, ASDMA had deployed another IAF helicopter to rescue eight State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) personnel and one revenue official of Jonai, Dhemaji when they were stranded in a sandbar while going for relief operations.

“High flood level and turbulent water prevented sending other boats, so as a last resort Assam Police and Fire and Emergency Service requested ASDMA to help them. Accordingly, ASDMA contacted the central government and with their necessary permission deployed a helicopter to rescue them,” the official stated.

Assam has been reeling under a second wave of floods since Sunday and so far, 6,44,128 people were affected till Monday evening.