Another landslide in Arunachal, toll now 19, Rijiju visits area

Itanagar, April 23 (IANS) Two people died in a fresh landslide on Saturday in Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh, taking the death toll in two days to 19, officials said. Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju and other leaders visited the area bordering China and took stock of the situation.

The landslide that hit a camp of construction labourers in Phamla village on Friday morning killed 15 people instantly.

Two injured people died later on Friday night, while two more died in a fresh landslide in the nearby village of Thongleng on Saturday.

The fresh landslides also swept away over 30 houses.

“With the two people killed in the early hours of Saturday in a fresh landslide, the toll has risen to 19. The landslide on Saturday occurred in Thongleng village, about 20 km from Tawang. Over 30 houses have been swept away,” said a district administration official.

He said many people have shifted to safer places fearing more landslides, and hence there was less human casualty during Saturday’s incident.

The landslide, however, damaged property worth several lakhs of rupees, he said.

Rijiju on Saturday visited Tawang with former state tourism minister Pema Khandu and took stock of the situation.

The union minister, however, had to return by road instead of his chopper as it could not take off due to bad weather.

Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Kalikho Pul said he was personally monitoring the situation and that instructions have been issued to all the deputy commissioners and police superintendents to remain vigilant for any eventuality and keep the disaster management personnel ready for relief and rescue operations.

He said the Indian Army has been helping the civil administration in most of the flood and landslide-affected areas of the state.

Tawang district, which has been badly hit by floods due to incessant rains, has remained under darkness for some time as electric poles have been swept away in many places.

The highways in some places have also been affected, and there has been no communication with districts like Anjaw, Changlang, Lower Subansiri and East Siang.

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