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Assam Floods: 4 Lakh People Hit; Landslides Disrupt Road, Rail Links; Amit Shah Expresses Concern

In this photo taken between May 12 and May 14, a landslide hit area due to heavy rainfall in the Dima Hasao district. (Photo: PTI)

In this photo taken between May 12 and May 14, a landslide hit area due to heavy rainfall in the Dima Hasao district. (Photo: PTI)

The death toll due to flood-related incidents has increased to eight, including five killed in landslides

Floods and landslides triggered by incessant rain have created havoc in Assam as around four lakh people in 20 districts of the state have been affected by the deluge. Surface links to Barak Valley and Dima Hasao district and to neighboring states of Tripura, Mizoram, and Manipur remained snapped on Tuesday as heavy downpour washed off rail and road links in several locations of Assam and Meghalaya.

The death toll due to flood-related incidents has increased to eight, including five killed in landslides.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah said he has spoken to Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma to take stock of the situation and assured all possible help from the Centre. “Concerned about the situation in the wake of heavy rainfall in parts of Assam. Spoke to CM Shri @himantabiswa to take stock of the situation. NDRF teams are already been deployed. Assured all possible help from the central government,” Shah tweeted.

After this, Sarma said Shah called to enquire about the flood situation in Assam and expressed concern over problems faced by citizens.

PEOPLE AFFECTED

An Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) bulletin said the number of affected people has reached 4,03,352 across 26 districts from 1,97,248 in 20 districts on Monday. Cachar is the worst-hit district with 96,697 affected people while 88,420 and 58,975 people are reeling under the deluge respectively.

Close to 40,000 people have taken shelter in 89 relief camps in different affected areas. Eleven embankments have been breached since Monday, while another six have been affected, besides damages to houses, roads, bridges and other infrastructure. Teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), Fire and Emergency Services, besides locals, have been carrying out rescue operations in the flood-hit areas.

A Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) release in Guwahati said the evacuation of about 2,800 passengers of two trains, which were stranded along the Lumding-Badarpur section in Dima Hasao for the last two days due to landslides and waterlogging on tracks, was completed on Monday. Many passengers were airlifted by the Indian Air Force even as incessant rain impeded rescue operations which were underway since Saturday, it said.

“Having rescued and evacuated all the passengers, the Railways is now putting its efforts in restoring the damaged line and re-starting the train services to South Assam, Manipur, Tripura, and Mizoram,” it said.

Massive DAMAGE REPORTED

Earlier in the day, East Jaintia Hills police alerted about fresh landslides under its jurisdiction. “There has been a fresh landslide in Kuliang village on NH06 this morning. The route from Silchar-Ratachera-Khliehriat is blocked. Efforts are on to clear the same and necessary assistance is being provided to stranded passengers,” it tweeted.

Assam Police’s Special Director General G P Singh asked the public to avoid using the route till the roadblock is cleared. “Please avoid traveling from Silchar towards Guwahati till the roadblock is cleared,” he tweeted.

A Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) spokesperson said landslides and waterlogging on tracks in the Lumding-Badarpur section have snapped train communication to Barak Valley, Manipur, Tripura, and Mizoram. “Work to restore the railway line is on a war footing,” he added. With the disruption in road and rail connectivity, airfare has shot up.

The New Haflong Railway Station is completely inundated with debris and an empty passenger train standing at the station has been washed off the tracks due to a massive landslide, the NFR said. Around 18 trains have been canceled and more than 10 short-terminated as work for the restoration of the damaged railway tracks is underway despite the rain.

Assam CM Sarma said that he has asked his Meghalaya counterpart Conrad Sangma to extend help as the movements of passengers and heavy vehicles carrying goods have been severely affected in the Barak Valley due to massive landslide in Meghalaya.

Meanwhile, Silchar MP Rajdeep Roy, who rushed to his constituency, tweeted, “With railways and roadways disrupted due to heavy rains and landslides I am stunned to see #silchar-#guwahati airfare reach 31000/- for a 25 min flight of 300km! This issue of ticket pricing needs to be addressed immediately! he wrote, tagging the prime minister and his office, the civil aviation minister, and the Airport Authority of India.

(with inputs from PTI)

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first published:May 17, 2022, 20:39 IST