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Landslides leave at least 20 dead in Assam, more than 200 000 still affected by floods


At least 20 people were killed while several others were injured in a series of landslides that hit three districts of the Barak Valley region in Assam, India, on Tuesday, June 2, 2020.

According to officials, six deaths were reported in the district of Karimganj, and seven each in Cachar and Hailakandi. Half of the fatalities were children, with most victims from the same family.

Nine people were injured and` are battling for their lives in various hospitals.

"In Kaliganj area of Karimganj district that borders Bangladesh, six people– five of them from one family– were killed by the landslides that buried them along with their house, " said district officials.

Another landslide took place at Kolapur village under Joypur police station in the district of Cachar, where seven people were buried under their house early Tuesday.

The third tragedy happened in the village of Bhtatbazar in the district of Hailakandi, where another seven people lost their lives. Six of the fatalities were from the same family, which included four children.

Rescue operations were being conducted while another mudslide was reported at Fulertal Cachar, under the Lakhipr revenue circle. Authorities immediately evacuated residents and transferred them to safer places.

"The loss of lives due to heavy rains and landslides in Barak valley, Assam is tragic," said President Ram Nath Kovind.

"Local authorities are undertaking rescue and relief efforts. Condolences to the bereaved families. Prayers for everyone’s safety and well-being," Kovind continued.

Assam forest minister Parimal Suklabaidya has traveled to the area and is overseeing rescue operations.

"[I'm] deeply anguished at the loss of lives due to landslides triggered by incessant rain in Barak valley," said Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal.

"I have directed Cachar, Hailakandi, and Karimganj district administrations and SDRF to step up rescue, relief operations, and facilitate all possible help needed to those affected." 

Persistent rainfall has been battering the area for the past few days. Flash floods have also been grappling the state for a week, but waters have been receding since Monday, June 1. At least nine people have died in the floods.

Around 200 000 people are still affected by the calamities, and around 7 000 are still in 45 relief camps. About 25 000 (62 000 acres) of cropland has been destroyed so far.

Featured image credit: OneIndia Hindi/YouTube

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