A dozen people are feared to be trapped under tons of rubble after a massive landslide hit a town in western Manipur’s Noney district. The landslide also impeded the flow of a river, creating a dam-like body of water that could lead to flooding if the debris is removed, leading to a complex environmental disaster.
Many who work on a major railway construction site are also feared to be trapped under piles of rubble, Noney District deputy commissioner Haulinlal Guite said.
The obstructed flow of the Ijei River, which has resulted in a dam-like structure, could flood low-lying areas if the situation deteriorates. The officer has asked the residents of Noney to take precautions and not allow children near the river.
The district administration liaises with state and national emergency response agencies for search, rescue and relief operations.
Residents have been asked to remain vigilant for continued rain, which could worsen the situation.
Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh held an emergency meeting.
“We have convened an emergency meeting today to assess the situation of the Tupul landslide. The search and rescue operation is already underway. Let us keep them in our prayers today. Ambulances and doctors have also been sent to assist with the operation,” Singh said. tweeted.
People have been asked to avoid National Highway-37, which runs through this area, due to multiple landslide blockades amid heavy rains in recent days.
The district administration has helplines.
Defense spokesman Lt. Col. Mohit Vaishnava said the army rescued 13 territorial army personnel trapped after the landslide near Tupul train station in Noney district.
The Territorial Army provides security for a railway line being built from Jiribam district to the capital Imphal.
Army helicopters are on standby waiting for the weather to clear, Lieutenant Colonel Vaishnava said.