Nature’s fury wreaks havoc in northeast India: 24 dead on day of disaster
In Arunachal, 14 people were reportedly killed in a landslide, six people drowned in Assam and four died in Nagaland when a bridge collapsed in Dimapur.india Updated: Jul 15, 2017 19:35 IST
Disaster struck three northeastern states on a day of deluge that reportedly killed 24 people.
While a landslide reportedly killed 14 people in an Arunachal Pradesh village on Tuesday, six people drowned in Assam and four – three of a family – died in Nagaland when a bridge collapsed.
Officials in Sagalee subdivision of Arunachal Pradesh’s Papum Pare district said 14 people were trapped under debris after a massive landslide at 2:30 pm destroyed their houses in Laptap village, about 110km from state capital Itanagar. Rescue workers retrieved one body. Officials said 13 others were trapped under the debris.
This is the second major incident in the subdivision after an Indian Air Force helicopter on flood rescue mission crashed on July 4, killing all the four people on board.
“The victims were members of four families living in five houses, one of which was vacant. The locals said 14 people were there when the tragedy struck,” district’s additional deputy commissioner Jalash Pertin said.
A government spokesperson said chief minister Pema Khandu put the district administration on alert and ordered urgent operation to evacuate survivors trapped inside the debris and damaged houses.
The authorities rushed a medical team with life-saving drugs while personnel of the police and National Disaster Response Force, assisted by volunteers and locals, were carrying out rescue operations.
The Papum Pare police chief was also at the site to oversee the rescue operations.
Khandu said Arunachal Pradesh has been at the receiving end of nature’s fury this year. “We have appealed to the people to shift from vulnerable areas. Many people, including in Itanagar, have been shifted to safer locations,” he said. District officials have been asked to provide basic amenities to people relocated till the rain season ends.
Like Arunachal Pradesh, landslides and floods have caused havoc in Assam with a network of 120 rivers, including Brahmaputra, flowing above the danger mark.
The Assam State Disaster Management Authority officials said six people died by drowning or electrocution on Tuesday. This has taken the flood and landslide death toll to 40 since April.
“The floods have so far affected 15.18 lakh people across 23 districts with 48,483 of them taking shelter across 208 relief camps. The worst affected district is (western Assam’s) South Salmara where 2.82 lakh people are displaced,” an official statement said.
The day also saw four people, including two women, die when a bridge collapsed at 4th Mile in Nagaland’s commercial hub Dimapur. Several vehicles were on the ill-maintained bridge, battered by heavy rain, when disaster struck.
The police said five others were injured and admitted to a hospital and five vehicles damaged.