Torrential rain in NE states leaves 4 dead, thousands homeless

Thursday, 14 June 2018

In Tripura, the state government has sought Army and NDRF assistance from the Centre for evacuation and rescue operations in marooned areas of the state

Agartala/Imphal/Guwahati/Aizawl: Torrential rain in the past 48 hours has wreaked havoc in the north-eastern states, claiming four lives in Tripura and Manipur, disrupting rail services in Assam and rendering thousands homeless across the region. 

In Tripura, the state government has sought Army and NDRF assistance from the Centre for evacuation and rescue operations in marooned areas of the state. 

Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, who visited the flood-hit areas of Unakoti district yesterday, briefed Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh about the "critical situation" in the state this morning, a senior official of the state administration said. 

"The Center has assured all necessary support to the state to tackle the flood situation," he said, adding that the CM has also appealed to people to "cooperate and assist" the local administration in their rescue operations. 

At least two villagers were swept away by strong river currents in Tripura yesterday, while over 14,000 lost their homes as the downpour submerged parts of the state, an official of State Emergency Operation Centre (SEOC) said. 

A farmer was washed away by the floodwaters in Khowai district, while the body of another villager in South Tripura district was recovered from the banks of river Manu, he told reporters. 

The state has declared a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the next of kin of those killed in the flash floods. 

In neighbouring Manipur, the state government has declared "holiday" till Friday at all educational establishments and government offices in Imphal and its adjoining districts in view of the flood situation, an official release said. 

Chief Minister N Biren Singh is personally supervising the repair work on the river banks that were damaged due to the downpour, a release issued by Information and Public Relations (IPR) Department said. 

Two people have drowned in swollen rivers in separate incidents yesterday, a police officer said. 

At Nepra Company in Thoubal Police Station area of the district, a 40-year-old man, identified as Sagolsem Ingocha Singh, slipped into flooded Arong River, when he went fishing on its banks after sundown, he said. 

In another incident, a 7-year-old boy, Keisham Brainson, was swept away by floodwaters into Ingourok river, he added. 

Water level in major rivers of the state has receded this morning but the situation continues to remain "vulnerable", a government official said. 

Acknowledging the flood situation as "grim", the CM had said yesterday that he requested the officials of National Highway and Infrastructure Development to construct road diversion along the NH-37, which had been hit by landslides. 

At least 15 relief camps have been set up across the state to help those affected by flood, the official said, adding that troops and engineers of Assam Rifles (AR) have been roped in for supplying food and water in Maibam and Uchiwa villages of Manipur's Thoubal district. 

In Assam, train services were disrupted in North East Frontier Railway's Lumding-Badarpur hills section, following landslides in five places of Dima Hasao district, a railway official said. 

The landslides mostly occurred between 1.30am and 3.30 am today, he said. 

Services have been suspended following the landslides, but no passenger train was affected due to the natural disaster, the chief public relations officer of NFR, P J Sharma, said. 

Although the extent of damage was yet to be ascertained, restoration work has been started in all affected locations, he clarified. 

"The restoration work is going on in full swing and efforts are on to restart the train services as early as early as possible," Sharma added. 

Heavy rain continued to lash parts of Mizoram today, cutting off Lunglei, Lawngtlai and Siaha districts in southern parts of the state from the rest of the country, state disaster management and rehabilitation (DMR) department officials said. 

The two lifelines of south Mizoram- National Highway number 54 and another road via Thenzawl - went out of bounds after rain triggered landslides in the region last night. 

The swelling rivers along Mizoram-Assam border deluged the lone railway station in the state and other thoroughfares, forcing people to commute in rafts and engine boats. 

In Lunglei district, along Bangladesh border, the floodwaters submerged around 60 houses in the past two days, the DMR officials said, adding that over 180 families have been moved to safety.

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