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regular-article-logo Thursday, 13 June 2024

Cyclone Remal: Incessant rain and landslides kill 27 in Mizoram

The deaths in Mizoram were caused by landslides at seven places in and around the capital Aizawl — Melthum (14), Hlimen (four), Salem (three), Falkawn (two), Lungsei (one), Kelsih (one) and Aibawk (two)

Umanand Jaiswal Guwahati Published 29.05.24, 05:51 AM
Rescue work under way after a stone quarry collapsed amid heavy rain in Aizawl district on Tuesday in the aftermath of Cyclone Remal.

Rescue work under way after a stone quarry collapsed amid heavy rain in Aizawl district on Tuesday in the aftermath of Cyclone Remal. PTI picture

Incessant rain and landslides in the aftermath of Cyclone Remal killed at least 31 people in the Northeast, including 27 in Mizoram, on Tuesday.

Three of the victims, including a student, were from Assam and one from Meghalaya. Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh have also been affected by heavy rainfall.

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The deaths in Mizoram were caused by landslides at seven places in and around the capital Aizawl — Melthum (14), Hlimen (four), Salem (three), Falkawn (two), Lungsei (one), Kelsih (one) and Aibawk (two).

In Melthum, a house adjacent to a stone quarry collapsed trapping the victims, a government official told The Telegraph.

“Nine persons are still trapped in the Melthum landslide that took place around 7.30pm. Of the 14 deceased, nine are Mizos. The other deaths have also been caused by house collapses due to landslides. Search and rescue operations are going on,” the official said.

Storm and heavy rainfall linked to Cyclone Remal impacted nine of Mizoram’s 11 districts, uprooting trees and triggering landslides, floods and road blockades besides disrupting power supply. Following a warning by the Met office, government offices, barring those involved in emergency services, and schools were closed on Tuesday.

Mizoram is one of the most landslide-prone states in the country during the monsoons. Unscientific urban growth has aggravated the problem.

At an official webinar in 2021, one of the participants had pointed out that slope failure has increased due to development work such as road construction, slope modification, improper drainage system, absence of rain gutters and improper dumping of soil and deforestation. Most landslides in the state are rainfall-induced.

Mizoram chief minister Lalduhoma visited the affected sites with home minister K. Sapdanga. Earlier, Lalduhoma visited the Aizawl District Disaster Operation Centre to take stock of the situation and announced the release of 15 crore from the Disaster Mitigation Fund. He also announced 4 lakh ex gratia for the families of the deceased.

Lalduhoma visited Melthum village, where the highest number of casualties took place. During his visit, 12 bodies were recovered from the debris and mudslides at Melthum, three from Hlimen and two from Falkawn.

Lalduhoma and Sapdanga handed over 2 lakh each to the kin of the eight identified victims. For non-resident casualties, bank transfers will be arranged upon identification and completion of reports.

President Droupadi Murmu condoled the deaths at Melthum.

Deaths and destruction were also reported from Assam. “Three persons have died in the storm in the past 24 hours — one each in Morigaon, Kamrup and Kamrup Metro districts,” an official said.

A person engaged by the NHPC in Gogamukh had died in Dhemaji district on Monday morning in a rockslide.

The deceased in Morigaon was a 17-year-old school student identified as Kaushik Bordoloi Amphi who died on the spot when a tree fell on an autorickshaw around 7.30am. Kaushik was on his way to school.

Twelve students were also injured when a massive tree fell on the school bus around 7am at Dhekiajuli in Sonitpur district.

Storm and heavy rain lashed 16 of the 35 districts of Assam, uprooting trees, blocking roads, damaging houses, disrupting power supply and causing flash floods in Karimganj district bordering Bangladesh.

Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that educational institutions in Nagaon, Hojai, West Karbi Anglong, Karbi Anglong, Golaghat, Dima Hasao, Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj districts would remain closed on Wednesday given the red alert issued by the weather office.

A 26-year-old man died in neighbouring Meghalaya after the wall of a house collapsed because of rain triggered by Cyclone Remal. Landslides and flood-like situations were reported from several districts.

Landlines disrupted traffic on Joram to Koloriang road in Kurung Kumey district of Arunachal Pradesh.

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