Around 20 villagers died and many houses were washed away in a landslide caused by heavy rain for the last three days in a village in Manipur's Chandel district bordering Myanmar. The death toll is likely to increase.
The tragedy occurred after a landslide hit Joumol village, about 168km south of state capital Imphal, on Saturday.
“Rescue operations was undertaken by Assam Rifles and villagers from the nearby Aibol Joupi village,” a senior official of the state home department said. “Only one villager could be saved.”
Several houses of Hollenjang, Wayang and Tuitung village under Khengjoi were also swept away by the landslide. The total number of casualties from these areas, if any, are not known so far.
The government dispatched a State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) for rescue operations but the team could not proceed to their destination due to several landslides en route.
The state has been witnessing incessant rains since the past one week followed by heavy rains in the last three days, which have washed away around five bridges in Thoubal and Chandel districts. Low lying agricultural fields in the four valley districts and Thoubal district sector of Indo-Myanmar route (National Highways 2) are flooded.
The low-lying areas in Imphal and its outskirts have also been inundated.
Almost all the important rivers -- Imphal, Iril, Nambul and Kongba Rivers -- which pass the greater Imphal area comprising Imphal West and Imphal East districts are flowing above the danger mark. Some of the people residing on the riverbanks have started looking out for safer places.
State authorities have been surveying the area to assess the damage. Chandel district authorities have also started providing relief materials by opening control rooms, sources added. The affected villagers have been moved to relief camps set up with the help of local leaders.
Flood-affected villagers, however, alleged that the state government has not done enough to help them.