Massive landslide buries 20 people alive; houses washed away in Chandel

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A photo of the landslide at Joumol Village, Chandel Manipur
A photo of the landslide at Joumol Village, Chandel Manipur

CHANDEL, August 1: Atleast 20 villagers of Joumol Village under Khengjoi Sub-Division in Chandel District have been buried alive and several houses swept away in a landslide due to incessant rain for the past few days in the State.

According to reliable sources, 20 villagers of Joumol Village have been buried alive while 12 houses were swept away by landslide early this morning around 6:30.

However, a villager survived the fury of nature and reported the incident to the Assam Rifles post of Hengshi Village.

Joumol Village is located around 98 km from the Tengnoupal HQ (83 km of motorable road upto Holenjang and 15 km of non-motorable road from there on).

The State Relief and Disaster Management department has also instructed the Chandel district administration to depute district disaster rescue team to the spot and co-operate with the villagers, according to official sources.

Several houses of Hollenjang, Wayang and Tuitung Village under Khengjoi sub-Division have also been swept away by landslides in the past few days.

But there are no reports of loss of human lives from these villages till the filing of this report.

The State government has dispatched a team of State Disaster Response Force to rescue the villagers.

But the team could not proceed to their destination due to several landslides near Tengnoupal and had to return to Chandel district Headquarters.

It is also learnt that the bodies of the villagers buried underneath are yet to be retrieved, as no rescue team is able to reach the village yet.

Meanwhile, another landslide wreaked havoc in between Bongyang to Lokchao along the Imphal-Moreh section of the national highway and Tengnoupal-Sangshak road in Chandel district.

Some of the villagers of Senam and Tengnoupal fearing similar devastations in their villages have started vacating their houses and shifting their belongings to safer places.

The fear has been ignited by the appearance of cracks in their villages due to the landslide.

Major cracks have also appeared on the Imphal-Moreh highway in between Chahmol and Tengnoupal.

In between Tengnoupal-Sita Junction to Tengnoupal Power Sub-Station landslides have occurred at four locations blocking the Tengnoupal-Sangshak road.

A portion of the road has also been washed away by a landslide in between Chehlep Lamkhai and Phalbung Village.

Speaking to the media persons, Daniel Mate, president Kuki Students`™ Organisation Tengnoupal said that owing to the incessant rainfall, landslides have occurred at many places in and around Tengnoupal Village.

And the village has been cut off from the rest of the State due to landslides since the last few days, he added.

While appealing the State Government to provide relief assistance, he also urged the general public and traders to suspend vehicular movement along the Imphal-Moreh road temporarily due as precautionary measures.

Meanwhile, the Vaiphei Peoples`™ Council, Gen HQ has also expressed its deep and heartfelt anguish at the landslide.

A statement of the council said almost all the villagers of Joumol Village lost their lives in the massive landslide, with the exception of one who managed to survive under extreme circumstances.

With the village still inaccessible due to incessant rainfall, the Vaiphei community would like to call on the State government, Army, paramilitary forces and non-governmental organizations to expedite relief operation and ascertain the veracity of the extent of damages, and carry out relief operation without further delay, it said.

The loss of human lives is painful enough. And the lost of an entire village due to natural calamity calls for a joint united effort, and the Vaiphei Peoples`™ Council, on behalf of the Vaiphei community, would like to appeal to all to lend a helping hand in this hour of distress and great need, the press release signed by Khatkhotong Baite, president VPC and Khamneithang Vaiphei, general secretary said.

19 of the 20 victims of the landslide have been identified as:

1. Semkhothong Baite (M) 60 years, 2. Khamneng Baite (F) 60 years, 3. Semkhothong Baite (M) 60 years, 4. Khanching Baite (F) 60 yrs, 5. Semkhoson Baite (M) 65 yrs, 6. Jamlet Baite (M) 45 yrs, 7. Semkholet Baite (M) 50 yrs, 8. Jangminlun Baite (M) 20 yrs, 9. Mangkholet baite (M) 40 yrs, 10. Hoineilhing Baite (F) 3 yrs, 11. Doujam Baite (M) 30 yrs, 12. Paojamang Baite (M) 1yrs, 13. Thangmang baite (M) 40 yrs, 14. Holmang Baite (M) 40 yrs, 15. Thangkholal Baite (M) 40 yrs, 16. Mary Baite (F) 35 yrs, 17. Lhunkhomang Baite (M) 25 yrs, 18. Jangginlal Baite (M) 25 yrs, 19. Tongkhothang Baite (M) 35 yrs.

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