Flood and landslide related deaths mount in Northeast

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Gangtok/Guwahati, Sept 24: Two of northeastern states--Sikkim and Assam--are bearing the brunt of natural calamities. A total of 29 people have died in Sikkim due to landslides after the state experienced heavy rainfall in the past 48 hours. Whereas, around six people have died in Assam due to deteriorating flood situation in the state.

At least 21 bodies, including those of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) personnel, were found while eight persons were missing following flash floods and landslides in remote areas of North Sikkim, informs official sources in Gangtok.

Due to worsening situation, Army and IAF teams have been deployed in both the states to carry out rescue operations in the affected areas.

Dead bodies recovered from landslide areas of Sikkim include four from the ITBP, two of their family members and 12 junior officers from the BRO.

"Rest of the victims are casual labourers. Most of the casualties are from Rangma range," informed official sources.

Official sources added that landslides were caused by heavy rainfall since Sept 19. The main road between Chungthang and Mangan at North district in Sikkim have remained blocked due to nine landslides in those areas.

"The major challenge is to provide water and electricity. We will distribute water to every house using water tankers. A few generators have been put into service to light street lamps. Kerosene will be provided to houses tomorrow," said Raj Yadav, SDM of Chungthang.

In Assam, currently, sixteen districts are reeling under flood waters. Official sources informed that around six people have died due to flood related incidents in various districts of the state. Heavy rain has caused the current floods in Assam. Thousands of people have taken shelter in relief camps to save their lives from flood havoc. The Army and the IAF have evacuated more than 4,000 people from the affected areas, informed sources.

Even animals are under threat as wildlife sanctuaries have been flooded in Assam.

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