The death toll in the devastating landslides triggered by heavy rains in Arunachal Pradesh has risen to seven, an official said on Wednesday. Teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and other agencies were searching for survivors feared trapped under the rubble and bodies of victims. Incessant rains have triggered landslides and flash floods in various parts of this mountainous state.
The death toll rose to seven following the recovery of six dead bodies from the rubble of a landslide, Inspector General of Police in-charge of Law and Order, Nabin Payeng, told IANS. He said the search for survivors and dead bodies was still on. The landslide on Tuesday hit Laptap village under Papum Pare district, about 40 km from here. Chief Minister Pema Khandu announced release of ex-gratia of Rs 4 lakh to the next of kin of each of the deceased.
He conveyed his deepest condolences and extended solidarity with the bereaved family members and prayed for the safety of those who were missing. Khandu has asked the district administration to be on alert and ordered urgent rescue operation to evacuate survivors trapped under the debris and inside damaged houses. He also asked the administration to provide all necessary assistance like food, medicine, etc. to the affected victims and shift them to safer locations.
A medical team with life-saving drugs and a police team have been despatched to Laptap. Reiterating his appeal on remaining alert and shifting away from vulnerable places, Khandu said: “Arunachal Pradesh has been at the receiving end of nature’s fury every year. The best that people can do is avoid vulnerable places and stop rampant tree cutting and deforestation.”
Papum Pare has been the worst-affected district where incessant monsoon rains have disrupted road communication due to landslides. An Advanced Light Helicopter of the Indian Air Force engaged in flood rescue mission had crashed in the district on July 4. All four people onboard were killed. The helicopter was evacuating people stranded in Sagalee and Dambuk due to massive landslides caused by heavy rains.
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