Thursday, June 13, 2024

40 killed in flash floods, landslides across Northeast after cyclone Remal

At least 40 people have died and over two lakh have been affected across the northeast due to flash floods, heavy rains, and landslides over the last four days.

As an aftermath of Cyclone Remal and the heavy rainfall that followed, the region was struck by one of the worst calamities in recent history.

The cyclonic storm hit early this week, bringing with it destruction on a large scale along with loss of lives and injuries in the Northeast.

Incessant rain and landslides have left parts of the northeast isolated as flood waters have submerged railway tracks. The Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) has cancelled express, passenger and goods trains bound for south Assam, Tripura, Manipur, and Mizoram since Tuesday as floodwater inundated railway tracks across the region.

On Thursday, a portion of National Highway 6 that connects Assam, Meghalaya, and Mizoram collapsed after a landslide.

Manipur

Three people died, nine suffered injuries while thousands have been affected due to the heavy floods in eight districts of Manipur.


Since Tuesday, the rivers Imphal and Nambul which flow through the Greater Imphal have remained above the danger level. These rivers have breached their banks in multiple areas, causing massive flooding in the valley area. Rescue operations are in full swing with stranded residents evacuating from low-lying areas to safer areas.

However, the storm has not only caused destruction but also claimed lives. Two people lost their lives in the hill district of Senapati because of the storms. A 34-year-old man died in a landslide on Senapati-Thonglang Road. Three others were also injured in the incident and were admitted to a hospital. An 83-year-old woman drowned in the Senapati river. 

According to the State Relief and Disaster Management Department, the flood has damaged properties across almost all districts of Manipur, with the worst-hit in the valley being Imphal East and Tamenglong in the hills.

 “We are assessing the damage caused by the flood. Our officials monitoring the rescue operations are yet to submit their assessment reports. However, this is the worst flood Manipur has witnessed since 1988 and 2015,” said an official.

“Low-lying areas of the valley and hill districts have been massively inundated. Besides, landslides on State and National Highways 37 and 2 have snapped the major routes for the transportation of crucial commodities,” said Manipur Governor Anusuiya Uikey, adding she was deeply concerned by the situation.


40 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel and six boats arrived on Wednesday to take part in the rescue operations being carried out in the State. Further, equipment was also provided by the Indian Air Force (IAF) to help the operations. 

A total of 188,143 people have been affected by floods in Manipur, state minister for water resources and relief and disaster management Awangbou Newmai said on Thursday.

At least 24,265 houses have also been damaged in the last few days, the minister added. The Assam Rifles reported that over 300 people had been evacuated in Imphal by the security forces. 

Assam

Meanwhile, neighbouring Assam is also reeling under the blow of Cyclone Remal. Eight districts of the state have been hit by floods, forcing around 200 persons to relief shelters in the Barak Valley districts of Karimganj and Cachar. 

Flash floods in Assam have affected thousands in nine districts as the Kopili river, which flows through Assam and Meghalaya, is flowing over the danger mark. Over 35,000 people have been moved to relief camps in Assam.

Cyclone Remal has also claimed seven lives in Assam, including that of two school students. A father and his son were killed in Guwahati when a tree fell on their house, while two students died as trees fell on their school vans in Morigaon and Dhubri. More than 20 persons were injured in the state.

Flood-hit West Karbi Anglong district is also facing the worst deluge after water was released through five gates of the Karbi Langpi Hydro Power Project and seven gates of the Khandang Hydropower Project, as incessant rain continued. 

The Kopili and Borpani rivers have caused unprecedented deluge, as they are overflowing. Artificial floods in Hailakandi and Silchar town in southern Assam caused by incessant rain have left the town marooned.

Mizoram

In Mizoram, 27 people have died while search operations are on to locate several others missing after Tuesday’s landslides.

The Meltham quarry collapse accounted for 14 deaths and the rest were killed in the nearby areas under the impact of massive landslides. 

The Salem locality landslide killed three members of a family, while the others were killed at Falkawn, Kanan, Kulikawn, and ITI localities.

Rescue and relief operations continued unabated as the people in the northeastern states remained on the edge, reeling from the loss and destruction caused by Cyclone Remal.

“So far, a total of 167 villages have been affected by the floods. Due to disruptions in communication, reports of affected families continue to trickle in from across the state. In the wake of a severe landslide, triggered by incessant rain, 27 people have been found dead. Search efforts continue unabated, the death count is expected to rise,” Mizoram Chief Minister Lalduhoma told NDTV.

The Mizoram Chief Minister announced ₹ 4 lakh compensation for the families of those killed in the calamities. He said that his government has earmarked ₹ 15 crore to tackle the disaster.

Traffic stopped on National Highway-6 in Meghalaya, which connects with Assam and Mizoram, due to landslides near Lumshnong toll plaza, 125 km from state capital Shillong.

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