Fresh landslides in Arunachal Pradesh, at least two dead, toll rises to 19, Rijiju visits area

At least two persons were killed and several dwellings damaged in fresh landslides triggered by rains in Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh on Saturday, raising the toll to 19.

Itanagar: Two people died in a fresh landslide on Saturday in Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh, taking the death toll in two days to 19, officials said. Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju and other leaders visited the area bordering China and took stock of the situation.

The fresh landslips occurred at Thongleng Village, 20 km from Tawang town in between Tawang- Lumla road, ADC Lod Gambo said.

While 30 houses were badly damaged, one house where the victims were staying was washed away, the ADC said.

The district administration has pressed men and machinery for relief and rescue operations, he said.

The death toll as now risen to 19 due to heavy rains and floods. While a person drowned at Jengthu River in Namsai district on April 17 last, 16 labourers including one supervisor were killed in a massive landslide triggered by incessant rains at Phamla village in Tawang yesterday.

The victims were mainly labourers from Assam and Nepal who had come in search of livelihood.

Incessant rain in the past couple of days triggered massive landslides in various places of the Buddhist town bordering China.

Rijiju today visited Tawang with former state tourism minister Pema Khandu and took stock of the situation.

The union minister, however, had to return by road instead of his chopper as it could not take off due to bad weather.

Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Kalikho Pul said he was personally monitoring the situation and that instructions have been issued to all the deputy commissioners and police superintendents to remain vigilant for any eventuality and keep the disaster management personnel ready for relief and rescue operations.

He said the Indian Army has been helping the civil administration in most of the flood and landslide-affected areas of the state.

Tawang district, which has been badly hit by floods due to incessant rains, has remained under darkness for some time as electric poles have been swept away in many places.

The highways in some places have also been affected, and there has been no communication with districts like Anjaw, Changlang, Lower Subansiri and East Siang.

Chief Minister Kalikho Pul who is personally monitoring the situation all over the state had telephonic interactions with 18 deputy commissioners yesterday and enquired about the prevailing flood situation in their districts.

There are landslides and flood-like situation in almost all the districts.

While major damage and casualties have been reported in Tawang, other districts like Anjaw, Changlang, Lower Subansiri and East Siang districts were reported to be badly affected by pre-monsoon rains.

The chief minister instructed the DCs to remain alert, keep the District Disaster Task Force ready, see that medicines and ration items are adequately stocked and to maintain drinking water facilities. 

(With agency inputs)