POLITICS

45 People Dead In Assam Floods, 14 Of The Same Family Killed In Arunachal Landslide

Grim situation in the north east.

13/07/2017 3:53 PM IST | Updated 13/07/2017 3:57 PM IST
Anuwar Hazarika / Reuters
A herd of elephants cross a road that passes through the flooded Kaziranga National Park in the northeastern state of Assam, India, July 12, 2017.

Union minister Kiren Rijiju today undertook an aerial survey of flood-hit districts in Assam, where the death toll due to the deluge has mounted to 45. The minister of state for home was accompanied by officials of the National Disaster Response Force, NITI Ayog and National Disaster Management Authority.

Before the survey, Rijiju met district administration officials in Lakhimpur, which has been hit the hardest by floods, and visited deluge-ravaged Pasnoi Baolidan village.

More than 3 lakh people have been marooned by flood waters in Lakhimpur district alone.

Though rains eluded the district over the last two days, the Brahmaputra river and its tributaries are flowing above the danger mark in several areas.

Anuwar Hazarika / Reuters
One-horned rhinoceroses are seen at the flooded Kaziranga National Park in the northeastern state of Assam, India, July 12, 2017. Picture taken July 12, 2017. REUTERS/Anuwar Hazarika

Lakhimpur district officials briefed the minister on the relief operation being conducted in the district.

They told him that the water level has started receding.

Heavy rainfall in upper catchment area of Arunachal Pradesh as well as Lakhimpur increased the water level of all the 14 rivers and their tributaries in the district.

Ranganadi, Dikting and Singra rivers swelled up after a huge quantity of water was released from NEEPCO dam in Yazuli, the district officials told Rijiju.

3,27,729 People Affected

A total of 431 villages in seven revenue circles have been inundated by the deluge and as many as 3,27,729 people are bearing the brunt of floods in Lakhimpur.

"Twenty relief camps and 205 health camps have been set up in the district," an official said.

Rijiju asked the district administration to expedite the relief operation as there has been no rain in the last two days.

He went through an initial report of the flood situation in the district and assured them of all possible assistance from the Centre.

During his visit to Pasnoi village, Rijiju met the affected local villagers and promised them succour.

Around 15 lakh people in 24 districts in the state have been hit by floods.

Anuwar Hazarika / Reuters
People transport their buffalos in a boat to a safer place in a flooded wetland at Balimukh village in Morigaon district, in the northeastern state of Assam, India June 6, 2017. REUTERS/Anuwar Hazarika

Last night, bodies of 14 people of a family, including four minors, who were buried in a massive landslide in Arunachal Pradesh's Papum Pare district following incessant rains, were recovered.

Teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and other agencies were searching for survivors feared trapped under the rubble in Laptap village.

"They have recovered all the fourteen bodies including ten females and four males from the rubble," Inspector General of Police in-charge Law and Order, Nabin Payeng told IANS.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Chief Minister Pema Khandu and took stock of the prevailing situation in the state and assured him all possible support from the central government.

Khandu also visited the landslide-hit area in Laptap to take stock of the ground situation and handed over Rs 10 lakh on behalf of state government to the next of kin of the victims as immediate relief.

He also donated Rs 30 lakh from his personal means as immediate assistance to the family.

Khandu said it is a moment of great sadness that 14 members from a single family have lost their lives in the tragic incident.

On Sagalee area being cut off from rest of the world, the Chief Minister said that district administration has been instructed to resume the relief and rescue operations for stranded people.

STR via Getty Images
Indian National Disaster Response Force personnel take part in a rescue operation at the site of a landslide in Laptap village in the Papum Pare district of the state of Arunachal Pradesh on July 12, 2017. At least five people were killed and 10 missing July 11 after a massive landslide buried homes in a remote village in northeast India, a disaster management official said. An avalanche of mud and rock struck the village after weeks of heavy rain in Papum Pare district in the Himalayan state of Arunachal Pradesh along the border with China. / AFP PHOTO / STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Altogether, 19 stranded passengers including seven patients out of which two whose condition was very serious were evacuated from Sagalee on Wednesday by helicopter.

Sagalee administrative headquarter has been totally cut off from the rest of the world for last many days due to massive landslides in many points of the road connecting it to Itanagar.

Twenty quintals of ration was supplied through air sortie to Sagalee on Wednesday to meet up the immediate shortage.

Papum Pare has been the worst-affected district where incessant monsoon rains have disrupted road communication due to landslides.

An Advanced Light Helicopter of the Indian Air Force engaged in flood rescue mission had crashed in the district on July 4, killing all four people on-board.

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