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Landslide kills one as rains continue to pound Arunachal

Rage Hilli, a promising boxer. was buried alive in a rain-triggered landslide while traveling along Papu-Yupia road near here on a motorbike on Sunday.

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Itanagar:  Torrential rainfall continues to create havoc in different parts of Arunachal Pradesh as a youngster was buried alive and three persons were feared trapped in landslides, officials and eye-witnesses said on Sunday.

Rage Hilli, a promising boxer. was buried alive in a rain-triggered landslide while traveling along Papu-Yupia road near here on a motorbike on Sunday.

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In another incident, three persons – all staff members of a hotel – reportedly lost their lives when a massive landslide swept away their hotel while they were asleep and buried them alive.

The incident occurred in the intervening night of Friday-Saturday along OKSRT (Orang-Kalaktang-Shergaon-Rupa-Tenga) road near Angkaling village under Kalaktang sub-division in West Kameng district, district disaster management officer (DDMO) Mindu Yangzom said.

“The bodies of the missing persons are yet to be retrieved,” the DDMO said, adding that a search and rescue operation has been ongoing since then. Teams of NDRF, SDRF, SSB and local police personnel, and local villagers joined the search operation. ADC, Kalaktang and DDMO also rushed to the spot.

On the other hand, altogether 105 persons who were stranded at various block points along the Balemu-Bomdila road have been rescued and sent to their respective destinations, Yangzom informed.

Meanwhile, sources in the Disaster Management department said with the fresh landslide death on Yupia road, the toll in the rain-related disaster in the state rose to nine – including six in Itanagar Capital Complex and three in Kurung Kumey district.

In all, 524 houses have been damaged in 87 villages affecting about 11,000 people in the state. In Lohit district, 11 rescued people were accommodated in a temporary relief camp by the officials.

In East Siang district, four staff of the Forest Department stranded at Daying Ering Wildlife Sanctuary due to the surging water level of Siang river have been rescued with the help of NDRF personnel on Saturday, sources said.

Heavy downpour has also disrupted road connectivity in many districts. Currently, Margherita-Changlang road in Changlang district, Hoj-Potin road in Papum Pare and Balemu-Bomdila road in West Kameng, and TAH (Trans Arunachal Highway) in Upper Subansiri, Kurung Kumey and many other districts are blocked due to rain-triggered landslides. The works departments are toiling hard to restore connectivity in all these districts, the Disaster Management Dept said.

Continuous torrential rain since April has also damaged agriculture and horticulture crops, agricultural land, livestock, snapped water pipelines, destroyed hydel stations, affecting normal life in many districts.

Concerned over the current scenario and uncertainty of the situation in the state due to incessant rain, Disaster Management Secretary Dani Salu issued directives to all Deputy Commissioners and stakeholders to remain alert to respond to any disaster emergencies. The department is also in constant touch with agencies like IMD, CWC etc for early warnings, he said.

The department also alerted five Regional Response Centres established at Bomdila, Ziro, Pasighat, Tezu and Khonsa alongwith teams of NDRF deployed at Bomdila and Namsai. Relief centres have also been set up in all districts to shelter affected people.

Further, the department has placed sufficient funds with all DDMAs under SDRF for payment of immediate relief. The district administration in Itanagar Capital Region has served evacuation/ shifting orders to 279 households, geo-tagged, from Hollongi to Banderdewa whose houses were found vulnerable to flood and landslides, sources added. 

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