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Arunachal landslip, flood kill 2; Assam floods death toll up to 36

A woman along with her children and livestock rows a makeshift raft on the floodwater following heavy rainfall, in Morigaon district, Assam on June 25, 2020.

A woman along with her children and livestock rows a makeshift raft on the floodwater following heavy rainfall, in Morigaon district, Assam on June 25, 2020.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Flooding hits OIL well blowout capping operation, AIR station in Dibrugarh inundated

A landslip, induced by heavy rainfall, killed a minor in Arunachal Pradesh capital Itanagar on Thursday while a woman drowned in twin city Naharlagun. Another person drowned in Assam’s Dhemaji district as the death toll in floods and landslips since mid-May rose to 36.

Officials in Itanagar said the body of the minor was retrieved from under the debris at the city’s Doni Colony after 8 a.m on Thursday. Around the same time, a woman’s body was retrieved from the Lagun River near Naharlagun.

“Heavy rainfall for three days has added to our problem of combating COVID-19,” Chief Minister Pema Khandu said, announcing an immediate release of Rs. 4 lakh to the next of kin of each victim.

On May 23, a 27-year-old woman and her two children were buried alive in a landslip at Arzoo village in Dibang Valley district.

The flood situation in Assam worsened, with the number of affected people jumping from 37,675 to 1,89,314 across nine districts in less than 24 hours. The number of affected districts on Wednesday was five.

“A person drowned in Dhemaji’s Sisiborgaon area today. So far, 15 people have died by drowning in two waves of floods while landslips claimed 21 others’ lives,” a spokesperson of Assam State Disaster Management Authority said.

Of the displaced people, 11,468 have moved into relief camps across four districts, most of them in Tinsukia, which overnight became the third most affected district after Dhemaji and Majuli. The other affected districts are Biswanath, Dibrugarh, Golaghat, Lakhimpur, Jorhat and Sivasagar.

Blowout capping hit

Floodwaters inundated the Baghjan site in Tinsukia district where a natural gas wells caught fire almost a fortnight after a blowout on May 27, hampering Oil India Limited’s capping operations. A concrete bridge on the road to the site was also damaged, preventing movement of men and material.

“Clearing of debris, crucial for the operation, has also been hit due to the flooding of the site,” an OIL spokesperson said.

In the adjoining Dibrugarh district, heavy rainfall resulted in water-logging in several areas of district headquarters Dibrugarh. The worst affected was the All India Radio station, where a short-circuit due to flooding led to the suspension of all broadcast services from the studios.

“We are broadcasting from an emergency transmitter at Lepetkata, 18 km away. The entire complex is inundated because of faulty drainage system,” said AIR programme executive Lohit Deka.

AIR Dibrugarh is among India’s 13 most sophisticate stations with high-power transmitter and has been broadcasting programmes in 12 languages and dialects – six in Assam and six in Arunachal Pradesh. It is also among the most awarded, having received 27 national awards for innovative programmes.

Dibrugarh’s Deputy Commissioner Pallav Gopal Jha said a series of protests and COVID-19 lockdown affected a drainage project. “But 1,000 mm of rainfall for two consecutive days is a huge quantity and difficult to control for any urban set-up,” he pointed out.

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Printable version | Aug 4, 2020 2:45:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/arunachal-landslip-flood-kill-2-assam-death-toll-up-to-36/article31918961.ece

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