- NET Web Desk
Manipur continues to reel under immense misery, following the massive landslide which claimed the lives of countless Territorial Army (TA) personnel and civilians.
Amid the mishap, another 200-metre-long landslide near Tupul in Noney district has blocked the Imphal-Jiribam National Highway 37, leaving numerous vehicles stranded for several hours on either side of the damaged section.
According to The Hindu report, this massive landslide had occurred at around 10 PM on Monday. The district administration is initiating efforts to mobilize rescue operations and clear the debris that has obstructed the route. However, no casualty has been reported due to the catastrophe.
Officials have already alerted the local populace about the occurrence of more such landslides. Excavators, other machineries will be utilized to clear the rubbles. The drivers and passengers have expressed concerns, since they are stranded along the mountain highway without food and water.
However, identification stands to be a major challenge, as most of the bodies are decomposed. 18 persons had been rescued alive. Meanwhile, 47 bodies have been recovered and 16 are yet to be located. Nearly 80 persons are believed to have been carried-down by the disaster.
The Water Resource and Relief & Disaster Management Minister of Manipur – Awangbow Newmai on Monday remarked that the rescue operations will continue until all the victims are recovered from the landslide debris. He has been continuously monitoring and supervising the concerted efforts from ground zero of the landslide-ravaged site.
Newmai personally arrived at the rescue site and instructed the security personnel to focus on the suspected site, where the victims are expected to be buried.
Referring the catastrophe as “worst incident in the history of Manipur”, the Manipur Chief Minister – N. Biren Singh noted that bulldozers and other engineering equipment are being used to make the incident site accessible and assist in the rescue efforts.
“We have lost 81 people’s lives. It will take 2-3 days to recover all the dead bodies due to the soil condition,” – stated the Manipur CM.
“A Thorough Wall Radar from Ladakh is also being inducted by air to detect the presence of personnel buried in the debris. A search-and-rescue dog is also being inducted,” – informed an official release.
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), Indian Army, Assam Rifles, State Government teams, TA personnel, and Railways workers are involved into rescue operations at the landslide-hit Tupul station building. Fresh teams have also been deployed, to augment the efforts.
Its worthy to note that this massive landslide took place on Wednesday midnight, and struck the company location of 107 Territorial Army of Indian Army deployed near Tupul Railway Station for protection of under construction railway line from Jiribam to Imphal.
Besides, the landslide debris had also obstructed the Ezei River, which flows through Tamenglong & Noney Districts of Manipur.