Friday, Sep 30, 2022

Manipur Landslide: Death Toll Rises To 25, Search On For 34 Missing

Rainfall since early Saturday morning has hampered Manipur landslide search and rescue operations.

Manipur landslide: Rescue operations underway PTI Photo

Eight more bodies were found under the debris at the landslide-hit railway construction site in Manipur's Noney district on Saturday, taking the toll to 29, officials said.

Thirty-four people are still missing and bad weather is affecting search operations, according to officials. They added that the search started at 4 am and rescue teams have been advised to proceed with caution. Rainfall since early Saturday morning has hampered the operations.

Out of the eight bodies recovered so far on Saturday, five are of Territorial Army (TA) personnel and one of an employee of a construction company. The two others are yet to be identified.

An official said, "Eight bodies were found on Thursday and 13 yesterday."

Eighteen people were rescued from the site on Thursday.

"The situation in the landslide affected area of Tupul is still serious. Due to rainfall in the morning, we are expecting the bad weather to persist. So far, 18 injured person and 25 deceased have been recovered. 38 persons are still missing," Chief Minister N Biren Singh tweeted, sharing the video of a landslide.

Over 470 personnel, including those of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), state police, the Assam Rifles and local volunteers, have been deployed in the search operation. 

Over 30 excavators are being used to clear the debris which blocked the Ijai river, forming dam-like storage and threatening the people living nearby. Earth-movers have been brought in to remove the debris, and create a channel to allow the flow of water from there, officials said. 

A defence spokesperson at Guwahati said, "Through-Wall Radar is being successfully used. A search and rescue dog is also being employed to assist."

Such radars are used for the detection and location of static and moving targets, especially human beings behind walls.

The spokesperson said that bodies of 14 defence personnel, including a junior commissioned officer (JCO), were sent to their hometowns.
Full military honours were given to the deceased personnel at Imphal before sending the bodies to their destinations.

(with inputs from PTI)