Torrential rains over the past 24 hours triggered flash floods and landslides, wreaking havoc in Manipur and Mizoram. Some parts of Assam too had been affected.
Officials in Manipur capital Imphal said there had been large-scale displacement of people in Imphal Valley owing to the flooding. The valley constituted about 20% of Manipur’s geographical area but had 40 of the State’s 60 Assembly constituencies.
“The situation is critical because of flash floods and landslides. We are trying to rescue people and provide relief besides assessing the situation,” Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren Singh said, adding that educational institutions in the valley were closed on Wednesday.
Breaching of river embankments at various places had aggravated the situation, officials in relief and rescue operations said. Among the submerged facilities in the valley was All India Radio resulting in suspension of services.
National Highway cut off
Officials said the national highway connecting Manipur with southern Assam had been cut off because of landslides. Power supply had also been disrupted.
In Mizoram, more than 500 families had been affected by flash floods and landslides in four districts. More than 1,000 people were evacuated to safer places in two of the worst affected districts – Lunglei and Aizawl.
The State government had declared a two-day holiday as landslides blocked roads in more than 40 places, cutting off many areas. At least half a dozen houses collapsed because of landslides.
Officials said efforts were on to clear the debris from the roads. The road from State capital Aizawl to Lengpui, Mizoram’s only airport, was cleared by Tuesday evening.
Three Assam districts hit
Floods had also affected three Assam districts – Golaghat, Karimganj and Hailakandi. The Kaziranga National Park, large swathes of which are in Golaghat district, had also been partially inundated. River Difolu flowing through it had overflowed to submerge a stretch of a highway alongside.
Pradip Kumar Talukdar, the Deputy Commissioner of southern Assam’s Karimganj district, said the district hadbeen affected by unprecedented flood in adjoining Mizoram.
The National Disaster Response Force said it had deployed search and rescue teams in eight districts of Assam to ensure prompt response during floods. These districts were Cachar, Tinsukia, Sonitpur, Jorhat, Bongaigaon, Barpeta, Dhemaji and Kamrup (Metro).
The Indian Meteorological Department had attributed the sudden heavy rainfall in parts of the Northeast to an “upper air cyclonic circulation over south Assam and Meghalaya” and neighbouring areas.