20 dead, houses swept away in Manipur landslides

Imphal, Aug 1 (IANS) At least 20 people were killed and several houses swept away as a landslide, caused by heavy rain, devastated a village in Manipur’s Chandel district bordering Myanmar on Saturday, officials said.

The death toll is likely to increase, officials here said adding that many people still missing.

An official of the state disaster management wing said that the tragedy took place after a massive landslide hit Joumol village, about 170 km south of Imphal.

“Assam Rifles jawans and villagers from the nearby areas have rushed to the spot immediately after the disaster and rescued many people from the area,” the official said.

Many houses of Hollenjang, Wayang and Tuitung villages were also swept away by the colossal landslides.

“According to the preliminary report, 20 people died in the landslips. The total numbers of dead and injured from these areas are yet to known,” the official said adding that the exact number of casualties would be known after the rescue work is complete

Senior officials of the Chandel district along with para-military and State Disaster Response Force personnel have rushed to the spot to supervise the rescue and related works.

Vehicular movements also become restricted due to several landslides en route to the accident site.

Manipur along with other northeastern states has been witnessing heavy rains due to cyclone ‘Komen’ in the last three days.

The rains and fast moving water have washed away around five bridges in Thoubal and Chandel districts. Low lying areas of many Manipur districts along with agricultural fields in the four valley and Thoubal district are flooded. The National Highway along India-Myanmar border also inundated due to the floods.

Many areas in and around Imphal and its outskirts have also submerged.

Almost all the important rivers including Imphal, Iril, Nambul and Kongba rivers which pass the greater Imphal area comprising Imphal West and Imphal East districts are flowing above the danger mark.

Several hundred people residing on the riverbanks have started moving to safer places.

Flood-affected villagers, however, alleged that the state government has not done enough to help them.


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