A landslide caused by continuous rainfall killed two sleeping girl students of a government residential school in Namstering in Tawang District of Arunachal Pradesh in the wee hours of Thursday morning.
Around 3.30 am on Thursday, a portion of one of the hostel buildings collapsed, burying the victims in their sleep. The victims, two 10-year-olds — Rhinchin Lhamu and Genden Wangmu — were students of Class V and VI, respectively.
According to a statement by the Directorate of Disaster Management, “The incident occurred due to continuous heavy rain leading to erosion/mudslide from a nearby paddy field located about 3-4m in the higher ground as compared to the School’s SPT hostel building.” The school has 88 boarders.
The state’s Disaster Management authorities rushed to the spot at 4.20 am and the search and rescue operations carried on for three hours. Three other students have been injured — one is being treated at the District Hospital Tawang and the other two, who suffered minor injuries, were given first aid at Dudughar.
The affected block was inhabited by 19 students and all belongings, including clothes and books, have been damaged. The school will be shut till the rains recede.
Following flash floods due to a cloudburst in Arunachal Pradesh’s West Kameng district, over 200 persons have been affected and are currently being rehabilitated. On July 8, a 23-year-old woman Tsering Pema, was swept away from her home in Kaspi village under the Singchung administrative subdivision. While the authorities managed to save her husband, the 23-year-old woman is still missing.
“Continuous rainfall in the state has led to road blockages and landslides at many places,” said Beru Dulom, field officer of the state’s Disaster Management Authority.
According to the India Meteorological Department, the situation is not going to ease up and rains will continue in the North Eastern states of Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura till July 15.
Out of Assam’s 33 districts, 749 villages in 17 districts have been affected — with Dhemaji, Lakhimpur and Barpeta worst-affected. According to an official release, one person was killed in a landslide in Guwahati while two people (in Dhemaji and Golaghat districts) drowned in the floods. Currently 4,23,386 people affected. The authorities have set up 53 relief camps in ten districts where 1,843 people are lodged.