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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Three killed as rains and landslides wreak havoc in Assam; air force called in

A family of three was buried alive when a landslide in Dima Hasao district’s Haflong revenue circle led to the collapse of a building.

Written by Tora Agarwala | Guwahati |
Updated: May 16, 2022 2:51:54 am
Stranded passengers being evacuated from the railway station in Dima Hasao district. (Credit: Northeast Frontier Railway)

At least three people have died and 25,000 have been affected as heavy rains have continued to lash parts of Assam since Friday. On Sunday, as rail connectivity to the hill district of Dima Hasao snapped, the Indian Air Force was called in to rescue stranded passengers.

According to a bulletin from the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), 56,000 people across the state’s seven districts (Cachar, Dhemaji, Hojai, Karbi Anglong West, Nagaon, Nalbari and Kamrup) have been affected. Over 41,000 people have been affected in Cachar and 13,523 in Hojai

On Sunday, as rail connectivity to the hill district of Dima Hasao snapped, the Indian Air Force was called in to rescue stranded passengers. (Credit: Northeast Frontier Railway)

A release from the ASDMA said landslides, erosion and infrastructural damage including the breakage of bridges were reported in Hojai, Dima Hasao, and Karimganj, among other districts. A landslide in Dima Hasao’s Haflong revenue circle led to the death of a family of three. 

“The rain has triggered multiple landslides across the district. Major roads are damaged and railway tracks have been washed away. An RCC building collapsed, burying a family of three alive on Saturday,” said an ASDMA official from Dima Hasao district.

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The bulletin said three people went missing from Cachar district on Sunday.

Earlier on Sunday, as the Silchar-Guwahati Express and the Guwahati-Silchar Express remained stranded at the Ditokcherra and New Haflong stations in Dima Hasao, respectively, the air force airlifted 100-odd passengers from Ditokcherra.

“Massive landslides and waterlogging resulted in huge damage to the railway track, bridges and the road links in the Lumding-Badarpur hill section of the Lumding division,” said a release from the Northeast Frontier Railway.

“At Ditokcherra, about 1,000 people were guided across a broken railway bridge to reach a special evacuation train on foot. Older passengers who were not able to cross the bridge by themselves were airlifted,” said Sabyasachi De, chief public relations officer of the Northeast Frontier Railway.

Since the rains are continuing and more breaches have been reported, the special evacuation train to the New Haflong station had been blocked till Sunday afternoon. However, most were safely evacuated by the evening.

The Regional Meteorological Centre in Guwahati has issued an orange alert for Assam, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh for the next three days. The rains are expected to continue till May 17.

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