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Floods and Landslides Rendered Several Homeless

Robert

Mizoram

Nature’s catastrophe claimed many lives in Mizoram and rendered several homeless. Thousands of people were displaced due to the floods, mudslides and landslides even as waters receded. Approximately 350 houses were completely submerged by the floods and claimed many lives. This is the largest recorded flooding of the region’s Tlawng River in the last 50 years.
Heavy monsoon rain triggered flash flood and mudslides in Mizoram. The rains have caused extensive damage in many districts across the state, with the incessant rain being the cause of landslides. Tlabung town and its neighbouring villages like Serhuan, Tipperaghat, Bindasora and Diblibagh were hit by severe floods triggered by torrential rain.
The government declared a two-day holiday after landslides blocked roads in more than 40 places causing large-scale destruction and thereby disrupting traffic. Many places, including Lunglei district, remained cut off from the rest of state due to the landslides. The showers damaged crops, roads, electrical lines and pavements. The two lifelines of south Mizoram- NH-54 and another road via Thenzawl – went out of bounds after rain triggered landslides in the region. A mudslide obstructed the access to the Lengpui Airport, Mizoram’s only airport. 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.
According to state disaster management and rehabilitation department officials, at least 1,066 families have so far been evacuated to safer places due to floods. The the worst-hit villages were south Mizoram Lunglei district’s Tlabung town and its surrounding villages like Lamthai, Tipperaghat and Serhuan where 700 families were shifted to safer places after their homes were inundated by the flooding Chhimtuipui river along the Mizoram-Bangladesh border areas.
Thousands of people living along the Khawthlangtuipui river in Lunglei district were evacuated to safer places as many houses were submerged as the river Khawthlangtuipui in south Mizoram’s Lunglei district and Tlawng river in Aizawl district swelled due to extremely heavy monsoon downpours. The water level of the river continued to rise as heavy rainfall continued unabated submerging over 100 houses in Tiperabagh, 70 houses in Serhuan village, 10 houses in Sairang village while around 30 houses were submerged in Tlabung town. Bairabi town and surrounding villages along the river Tlawng in Kolasib district and Aizawl district including Bawrai, Sairang and Kanhmun villages were also submerged by the flood leaving over 140 families displaced. Cracks appeared in Bunghmun village in south Mizoram’s Lunglei district after which 30 families were shifted to safer places.
Rescue and relief were carried out in full swing by the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) team, BSF and local volunteers. Clean drinking water, rice and other relief materials were being provided to the affected people. The district administration has also sent tarpaulin and fuel to the area. Disaster management & rehabilitation (DM&R) team and local NGOs like Young Mizo Association (YMA) run by the youth in the state cleaned up the rubble and helped the affected people. The YMA also provided food for the people who have evacuated from their homes. Many families were shifted to safer places in Aizawl city and other places due to landslides and mudslides as their homes were in danger of being swept away while some houses had to be dismantled. The people have been shifted to friends’ and families’ homes and their belongings are being kept in community and church halls. According to State Disaster Management and Rehabilitation department officials said large areas of paddy cultivation in Lunglei district were submerged by the flood.

Meghalaya

The recurrent rains have caused landslides in different parts of the state. Landslides on National Highway 44 in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills, connecting Tripura, Mizoram and Assam’s Barak valley with the rest of the country, disrupted traffic flow. East Khasi Hills district in Meghalaya has witnessed landslide that has left commuters stranded on the roads, disrupting the transport facilities. Farmers bringing agricultural products to the markets had been unable to reach ‘mandis’ due to the blocked roads owing to landslides. Heavy rain in Ri Bhoi led to landslide and flash flood in the border area that killed four persons and grievously injured many, besides rendering several people homeless. There were downpours in parts of Byrnihat, 13 Mile, Tamulkuchi and Jorabat in Meghalaya and Assam border. Flood water entered shops and houses along the highway. The impact of the disaster was felt with flood water and slush on the road halting vehicles coming from both Meghalaya and Assam. There was complete chaos at Jorabat junction. The Khanapara junction too witnessed water logging besides mud, which slowed down traffic. Hundreds of cars and heavy vehicles from Assam were stranded.
There were minor landslides at Tongseng, Ratacherra and Dona area along the NH-44 affecting smooth traffic flow for some time. The district authorities warned road users to be alert for loose soil and stones falling in view of the incessant rainfall in the state.
Meanwhile, landslides also disrupted flow of traffic in the Garo Hills region which is still reeling under the last year’s floods and landslides. Tura Town witnessed one of the most devastating showers in recent times that caused small streams passing through the town to swell up and wash away several shops at several localities. A major landslide near Sibbari in South Garo Hills district blocked NH-62 and minor landslides were also reported in North Garo Hills district. Road clearance parties swung into action and restored normal traffic flow.

Nagaland

Incessant rains across Nagaland have led to flash floods and landslides in several areas of the state. Nagaland has been receiving unprecedented heavy rainfall that resulted rain oriented calamities including landslides and sinking at various places in the state causing extensive damage to infrastructure, agricultural fields and properties. Government machinery has been put on high alert to meet the challenges caused by continuous rainfall across the state.
c5Heavy downpour lashed Kohima district the worst affected area where more than 60 families were evacuated and accommodated in emergency relief and temporary shelters after their homes were damaged by landslides. Heavy downpour has caused landslides, besides severely damaging least 13 houses from the Naga Hospital Colony and 36 houses in Pezielietsie colony within Kohima town, affecting at least 54 families. A major mudslide has also occurred at the Officers Hill.
Dimapur was flooded in many parts especially the low-lying ones close to storm-water drains and where there was no proper outlet for rain water. Most of the drainage and water outlets have been blocked due to dumping of garbage or are encroached upon for construction of building leaving only a narrow passage for water flow. Colonies like LRC, Riverbelt colony, Sachu, Zeliangrong, SM Colony, Half-Nagarjan, Dhobinullah, Bor-Lengiri, Super Market, Burma Camp Lengrijan areas and Police colony were the worst affected. Around 700 families were affected and were taken shelter at temporary place arranged by the respective colony council. Overflowing Tsutha River between Huker in Tuensang district and Aghunato in Zunheboto district washed away five children.
Several villages in Bhandari subdivision of Wokha district were affected by thick sandy flood. farms, agricultural crops and vegetation, livestock and residential houses were damaged and washed away by the flood that would find adversity for farmers to do sustainable cultivation for impending few years. Heavy rain in the upstream areas resulted in rising water levels at the Doyang dam. The North Eastern Electric Power Corporation, which operates the dam, was releasing the superfluous water in a phased manner to control flash floods in downstream areas. An advisory to villages downstream of the Doyang river, cautioned people not to go fishing, camping, or on any other water-related activities and also instructed the State Disaster Response Force and all officials of Sanis, Bhandari, Englan, and Chukitong circles to be on high alert. However it is said the release of over-accumulated water in the Doyang reservoir following incessant rain led to flood in the plain areas of the subdivision.
The rain and flash floods also affected agricultural fields, with the overflowing Langake River washing away more than 40% of the rice fields at Y Anner village in Tuensang district. The flooded waters of Zubza River severely affected Yeveto village under Niuland Sub-Division in Dimapur district where crops and plantations were destroyed, livestock swept away and many families in the villages rendered homeless. Cultivated fields in Tobu Assembly constituency were washed away and few houses were damaged.
Many places in the state remained cut-off as roads were blocked due to landslides. Landslides and sinking have damaged national and state highways, disrupting movement of traffic, snapped power lines and communication networks. The Dimapur-Kohima National Highway-29 has also been badly damaged near Kiruphema village and alternate routes are being arranged for passage of vehicles. Essential commodities like rice and vegetables are being transported by light vehicles however; there may be probable shortage of petrol, diesel and gas if the road condition continues to deteriorate. The road connecting Tobu and Mon and also connecting Tobu and Tuensang were cut off after a landslide. There were reports of food shortage in Tobu. Heavy downpour damaged roads in several places along the NH-29 connecting Kohima and Mokokchung and vehicular movement was completely blocked. Kiphire district was completely cut off and there was a report of scarcity of diesel. A major traffic-easing road diversion in Kohima town was also completely cut off as a wall near the Soul Harvest Church was damaged in the mudslide.
A team of NDRF consisting of 35 rescuers with essential rescue equipment was deployed in Nagaland to assist the state administration in the relief and rescue operation as well as distribution of essential relief material and to provide medical support to affected people in the time of emergency. Two Air Force helicopters were also deployed in Nagaland for assisting state administration in lifting and dropping of essential commodities.

Tripura

Incessant rain in Tripura triggered flash floods and landslides. All eight district of the state were flooded since June 1 after an exponential rise in pre-monsoon rain and all major rivers were overflowing. This year, a total 979.9 mm pre-monsoon rainfall was recorded against an average of 574.2 mm.
Besides the worst-hit district Unakoti, some of the other severely affected regions are South Tripura, Dhalai, North Tripura, Khowai, Gomati and a few West Tripura districts. Gobindapur and Hurua villages of North Tripura district were submerged when a portion of the embankment was washed away in the flash flood triggered by incessant rain. The rain also triggered landslides – 11 in Khowai district, one in Gomati district and five in Dhalai district.
c6Water level in all the major rivers like Gomati, Deo, Manu and Howrah in the state flowing above normal rendered thousands of families homeless and claimed many lives. The incessant rain and flooding also submerged the drilling sites of the Oil and Natural Gas Commission along with heavy equipment in the northern parts of the state. Crew and staff at the site were evacuated and operations remained suspended till the weather cleared. Vehicular movements were disrupted in different places as bridges collapsed due to gushing water. The national highway and railway tracks in several places were inundated and normal services disrupted due to water logging. A portion of the Assam-Agartala National Highway was also flooded, disrupting normal traffic.
As the downpour submerged several parts of the state, more than 1.5 lakh people were affected besides, huge loss of agriculture. Agricultural productions in about 5400 hectares of land were destroyed completely and more than 1200 houses in the districts were damaged and the properties and household items of above 50,000 people were spoiled. Businessmen and roadside hawkers faced heavy losses as water-logging hindered customers from buying goods. The local production of vegetables was badly hit due to continuous rain and repeated flood
Ten teams of the central relief and rescue force, comprising about 450 personnel, were deployed to tackle the flood situation in Tripura. A large contingent of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) along with more than 20 advanced boats from UP to speed up the operations, , Assam Rifles, Tripura State Rifle personnel (TSR), along with volunteers were engaged in providing post-flood relief service and search to find out anybody stranded in the flood-affected areas. Food, snacks, medical aids, drinking water and milk for children were being distributed in the affected area and in the camps while as 80 special medical teams were constituted and stationed there to cater to any medical emergency. Besides, Indian Army and other paramilitary forces were engaged in relief and rescue operations. Two air force choppers from Silchar and three Pawan Hans helicopters have were kept stand by for emergency operations.

About 189 relief camps were set up by the state government throughout the state so as to shelter the displaced and declared a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the next of kin of those killed in the flash floods.

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