GUWAHATI: One person was killed and 13 others were feared trapped under the debris after massive landslides flattened their homes in Arunachal Pradesh’s Laptap village.
In a separate incident, four people were killed when a bridge collapsed in Nagaland.
The landslide occurred at around 2:30 pm in Laptap village in the Sagalee administrative sub-division of Papum Pare district of Arunachal Pardesh on Tuesday.
The village falls between Sagalee and the state capital Itanagar. The roads leading to it from either side were cut off by recent landslides and was not motorable which hampered the rescue work.
“The victims were members of four families living in five houses. The locals said altogether 14 people were at the spot when the incident occurred. When reports last came in, one body was retrieved,” officials said.
The remaining thirteen are feared trapped under the debris.
Additional Deputy Commissioner Jalash Pertin said, chances of finding any survivor are dim, adding that the rescue operation is on.
“On receipt of the tragic news, chief minister Pema Khandu immediately put the district administration on alert and ordered urgent rescue operation to evacuate probable survivors trapped inside the debris and damaged houses.
He also asked the administration to provide all necessary assistance like food, medicine etc. to the affected victims and shift them to safer locations,” a government press release said.
Local police and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), assisted by volunteers and local residents, were carrying out the rescue work.
Additional reinforcements were sent from the police training centre at Banderdewa. The Papum Pare police chief was also at the site to personally supervise the rescue operations.
The Uttar Pradesh government has dispatched a medical team with life-saving drugs, officials said. Chief minister Khandu said Arunachal Pradesh has been at the receiving end of nature’s fury every year.
“The chief minister directed the district administration to ensure that people residing in vulnerable areas are immediately shifted to safer locations and are provided with all basic amenities at least till the monsoon recede,” the release said.
Expressing grief over the loss of lives, the chief minister announced an ex-gratia relief of Rs.4 lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased.
Meanwhile, four people, including two women, died when a bridge collapsed in Nagaland’s commercial hub Dimapur.
Their car was over the bridge when it collapsed.
The police said five others were injured and admitted to a hospital and five vehicles damaged.
The two incidents were triggered by incessant rainfall, which has been lashing the Northeast region for the past few weeks.