3 killed in Assam as rain leads to landslides; connectivity hit
At least three people have died and over 25,000 people are affected by landslides and flash floods across Assam.
Torrential rain and landslides in the past few days have eroded sections of roads and railway tracks in Assam’s Dima Hasao district affecting road and rail connectivity to Barak Valley region of the state, said Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) officials on Sunday.
“Three people including a woman died in landslide incidents at Haflong area in Dima Hasao district on Saturday,” the Authority was quoted as saying by ANI on Saturday. Their bodies were recovered on Sunday.
According to a bulletin issued by ASDMA on Sunday evening, no fresh deaths were reported on Sunday. Seven districts of the state were hit by floods and over 25,000 people affected.
“...Besides Dima Hasao, flooding was reported from five other districts of the state, but the situation there is not as bad,” said GD Tripathi, CEO, Assam State Disaster Management Authority.
A special advisory issued by Central Water Commission (CWC) on Sunday stated that Kopili river was flowing above danger level at Kampur in Nagaon district. Water level of Buridehing river in Tinsukia district and Barak river in Cachar district were also increasing, the advisory said.
Seventeen trains were cancelled/partially cancelled due to damage to tracks and bridges at 26 locations on a 76-km stretch in Dima Hasao and two trains were suspended, which left thousands of passengers stranded. Buses and helicopters were pressed into service to rescue stranded people.
District officials said that all national and state highways in the district have been affected due to rain and landslides and there’s no electricity and internet connectivity in many areas.
“Efforts to evacuate 1,245 passengers from the 15616 Silchar-Guwahati passenger train stranded at Ditokcherra is still underway. While many crossed a damaged bridge on foot and were sent by another train to Silchar. Nearly 200 passengers who were not in a position to cross the bridge on foot are being airlifted by Indian Air Force helicopters,” informed Sabyasachi De, CPRO, Northeastern Frontier Railway (NFR) at 6:00 pm on Sunday.
“Around 1,400 passengers from the 15615 Guwahati-Silchar passenger train were stranded at New Halflong. We employed 4 buses to take most of these passengers to Maibong from where they are being taken to Guwahati by train. Another train is ready at Maibong to ferry the other passengers who are still getting evacuated from New Halflong,” he added.
Photos and videos made available by Northeast Frontier Railway showed that train tracks were damaged at many locations by flood waters. Officials say it will take several days to restore connectivity completely.
According to Dima Hasao officials, 30 villages in the district have been affected by rains and landslides since May 13. The national highway connecting district head quarter Halflong to Silchar in Barak Valley has been damaged at many places due to landslides.
“Road communication between Halflong and Ditokcherra and also between Ditokcherra and Silchar has been disrupted. Efforts are underway to repair roads and clear the landslides but heavy rainfall is affecting work,” Rikki B Phukan, district disaster management officer, Dima Hasao, said.