13 people have died in flash floods and landslides triggered by heavy rains and deluge in the Northeast
GUWAHATI,June14:At least 13 people have died in flash floods and landslides triggered by heavy rains in the Northeast in the past three days. Assam’s capital Guwahati, one of the cities in the Northeast selected in the centre’s Smart City project, saw severe water-logging. Neighbouring states Manipur and Mizoram also saw strong floods in several districts.
Flash floods have submerged many areas in Manipur, while water from Mizoram’s hills threatens to submerge parts of Hailakandi district in south Assam’s Barak Valley.
The Assam State Disaster Management Authority or ASDMA has issued flood alerts in at least five districts – Lakhimpur, Sonitpur, Darrang Dhemaji and Karimganj. In Manipur, both Nambol and Imphal rivers have breached, causing flash floods in Imphal valley.
Mizoram remained cut-off from the rest of the country for the second day today due to landslides, people familiar with the matter said. Ten people died when a building caved in due to landslide in Lunglei district in Mizoram yesterday.
While Guwahati recorded a very high 105.7-millimetre rainfall yesterday, other areas in the region also saw heavy rainfall. Rainfall was light today, but water flowing down from hill areas has inundated new areas in valleys across the Northeast.
Many localities in Guwahati were water-logged for a second day, forcing schools and colleges to remain shut. The authorities reported three more deaths in Guwahati today, taking the death toll to five in the last two days, officials said. Two people, including a school student, were electrocuted on Tuesday during the flash floods. Their bodies were recovered today. A woman died in Nabin Nagar as no ambulance reached her when she suffered a heart attack on Tuesday night, a Kamrup (Metro) district administration official said.
“We almost live on water. This happens every year. Yesterday, we had water till our waist,” said Rajesh Bhuyan, a resident of Anil Nagar where water-logging is frequent. Another resident of the area, Uttam Sahu, said, “The government has to take some steps; this is an annual problem and there is no solution.”
The authorities have spent over Rs. 216 crore in the last 17 years to tackle Guwahati’s infrastructural issues that lead to urban deluge. The Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority is working on the Smart City plan.
“Although the municipal corporation and government agencies have been cleaning drains, the system could not take such heavy rains. We have to take a scientific approach to the problem,” Deputy Commissioner of Kamrup (Metro) M Angamuthu said.