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Wednesday, October 5, 2022
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Mudslide in India Leaves 19 Dead and 50 Missing


NDRF personnel trying to rescue those buried under the debris after a mudslide in Noney, northeastern Manipur state, India | Image by National Disaster Reponse Force

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Rescuers in northeast India on Friday continued looking for scores of people who went missing after a mudslide caused by weeks of torrential rains killed 19 people at a railroad construction site, according to officials.

In Noney, a town near the capital of Manipur state, Imphal, soldiers teamed up with more than 200 employees and police to rescue those trapped under the debris using bulldozers and other machines. But according to district magistrate H. Guite, the terrain makes it impossible to handle large equipment. He added that he had requested reinforcements.

Guite told the Associated Press that intermittent rain pounded the area where the collapse of a small hill had killed 19 people, burying the railroad construction site.

The location was visited by Lt. Gen. R.P. Kalita, commander of the army’s eastern command. He said that 13 soldiers and five civilians had been saved from the rubble of the destroyed railroad station. The army also established a medical facility at the scene to care for the injured, according to Kalita.

Guite said that 18 injured people had been taken to a hospital. He estimated that there were about 50 people who had not yet been found.

According to Guite, the debris impeded a flowing river and produced a dam-like structure. Nearby residents were urged to relocate to secure regions.

Ten of the confirmed fatalities were Territorial Army soldiers. Troops had been guarding railway officials because of a long-running insurgency in the state.

Most individuals affected by the mudslide were asleep when it struck the area.

“A few of the survivors recalled being swept down by the gush of hill debris towards the Ijei river, which is why they escaped being buried under piles of rubble,” Daichuipao, president of the Rongmei Naga Students’ Organisation Manipur, told the Times of India.

The northeast of India, which contains eight states and 45 million residents, has been devastated by three weeks of nonstop rain, as has neighboring Bangladesh.

In states like Assam, Manipur, Tripura, and Sikkim, torrential rains and mudslides have killed 200 people, while 42 people have perished in Bangladesh since May 17. Hundreds of thousands of people in those areas have been displaced.

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