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regular-article-logo Thursday, 13 June 2024

Stone quarry collapses in Mizoram amid rains, 22 people dead, several others missing

The incident happened around 6 am in an area between Melthum and Hlimen on the southern outskirts of the Aizawl

PTI Aizawl Published 28.05.24, 09:56 AM
Rescue work underway after a stone quarry collapsed amid heavy rain in the aftermath of Cyclone Remal, in Aizawl district, Tuesday, May 28, 2024.

Rescue work underway after a stone quarry collapsed amid heavy rain in the aftermath of Cyclone Remal, in Aizawl district, Tuesday, May 28, 2024. PTI

At least 22 people, including 13 in a collapsed stone quarry, were killed in Mizoram on Tuesday due to landslides and incessant rain in the aftermath of cyclone 'Remal', officials said.

In a massive landslide, at least 13 people, including two minors, were killed and eight others were missing as a stone quarry collapsed in Aizawl district, a report of the Mizoram State Disaster Management Authority (MSDMA) said.

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The incident happened around 6 am in an area between Melthum and Hlimen on the southern outskirts of the Aizawl town, an official said.

The report stated that several houses and worker camps caved in due to the impact of the landslide, burying at least 21 people beneath the debris.

"So far, 13 bodies have been recovered and eight people are still missing. Among the deceased in the stone quarry collapse are a four-year-old boy and a six-year-old girl," a police officer said.

Aizawl's Deputy Commissioner Nazuk Kumar told PTI that the search operations will continue till the entire site is cleared.

Earlier in the day, Director General of Police Anil Shukla claimed that 17 bodies were recovered from the collapsed stone quarry.

"We suspect that 6-7 people are still trapped inside the debris," he told PTI, adding that heavy rain was affecting the rescue operations at the disaster site.

Debris along a road after a landslide triggered by heavy rainfall, in Mizoram.

Debris along a road after a landslide triggered by heavy rainfall, in Mizoram. PTI

"We have also rescued two persons alive from the site," he said.

A landslide swept away a building in Aizawl's Salem Veng, following which three persons went missing. Search is underway for them, an official said.

The state capital has been cut off from the rest of the country due to a landslide on National Highway 6 at Hunthar, officials said.

Besides, several intra-state highways have also been disrupted by landslides, they said.

Chief Minister Lalduhoma convened an emergency meeting with Home Minister K Sapdanga, Chief Secretary Renu Sharma and other senior officials to take stock of the situation, a senior official said.

The CM announced Rs 4 lakh ex-gratia for the families of those killed in calamities caused by rains, including the quarry collapse.

He handed over cheques of Rs 2 lakh each to the families of the eight Mizo people who died in the quarry collapse and said the remaining amount would be given to them soon.

Home Minister K Sapdanga told PTI, "The identity of the four non-tribal people is being verified. If they are permanent residents of Mizoram, they will be given the ex-gratia amount. If they came here temporarily to work, their families will not get any financial support." Lalduhoma said the government has earmarked Rs 15 crore to tackle disasters triggered by rains, which occurred as an aftereffect of cyclone Remal.

Later, Lalduhoma along with Sapdanga, who also handles the Disaster Management and Rehabilitation Department, visited the stone quarry site to take stock of the situation and oversee the rescue operations.

Because of the rains, all schools were closed and government employees, except those involved in providing essential services, were asked to work from home.

Meanwhile, more than 30 families were shifted to safer places due to unprecedented flooding of the Tlawng river at Sairang village, about 21 km from Aizawl, a senior official said.

"Several farms on the bank of the river have been submerged by the water. The water level is continuing to rise. However, no casualty has been reported," he added.

In Aizawl town, some cemeteries have also been swept away by landslides, and over 150 graves damaged.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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