Cyclone Remal wreaks havoc in Northeast; at least 35 dead across 4 states
Rescue work underway at the site of the stone quarry collapse in Aizawl district on Tuesday | PTI

Cyclone Remal wreaks havoc in Northeast; at least 35 dead across 4 states

So far, 14 bodies recovered from collapsed Mizoram quarry and eight people are still missing; four killed in Assam and Nagaland each, two in Meghalaya

At least 25 people, including 14 in a stone quarry collapse, were killed in Mizoram on Tuesday (May 28) due to landslides and incessant rain in the aftermath of cyclone Remal, according to state disaster management authorities.

Several other people went missing in landslides, mostly in the state capital region, which was cut off from the rest of the country for several hours during the day and bore the brunt of the natural calamities.

Death and destruction

In a massive landslide, at least 14 people, including two minors, were killed and around eight went missing as a stone quarry collapsed in Aizawl district, the Mizoram State Disaster Management Authority (MSDMA) said.

Four persons were also killed and 18 others injured in separate incidents in Assam on Tuesday as heavy rain accompanied by strong wind lashed the state in the aftermath of the cyclone.

In Nagaland, four deaths and damage to more than 40 houses were reported while two persons died and over 500 others were injured as downpours wreaked havoc in Meghalaya.

In Tripura, as many as 746 people have been left homeless. Although there has been no loss of life, the cyclone left a trail of destruction in the power and agriculture sectors, with a total loss estimated at over Rs 10 crore, said Transport Minister Sushanta Chowdhury.

A school bus damaged by a tree that fell in a storm following the landfall of Cyclone Remal, at Dhekiajuli, in Sonitpur, Assam | PTI

Mizoram quarry collapse

The stone quarry that collapsed in Mizoram around 6 am lies in an area between Melthum and Hlimen on the southern outskirts of the Aizawl town, an official said.

The MSDMA stated that several houses and worker camps caved in due to the landslide, burying at least 22 people beneath the debris.

So far, 14 bodies have been recovered and around eight people are still missing, it said.

“Among the deceased in the stone quarry collapse are a four-year-old boy and a six-year-old girl,” a police officer said.

Ex-gratia payment

Chief Minister Lalduhoma announced Rs 4 lakh ex gratia for the families of those killed in the stone quarry collapse and calamities caused by rain.

Aizawl’s Deputy Commissioner Nazuk Kumar told PTI that the search operations will continue till the entire site is cleared.

“The abandoned stone quarry was not functional for the last three decades. Houses near the quarry collapsed,” Mizoram Director General of Police Anil Shukla told PTI.

Two rescued from quarry collapse site

“Those involved in the rescue operations are facing difficulties during the night. We are still searching for survivors,” the DGP said, adding that heavy rain was affecting the operations.

Shukla said the rain-triggered landslides at various places in Mizoram were reported and several other persons have been “swept away”.

“We have rescued two persons alive from the stone quarry site,” he added.

Tripura State Rifles soldiers carry a boat during a rescue operation after landfall of Cyclone Remal, in the flooded village of Baldakhal on the outskirts of Agartala | PTI

Deaths in landslides

At nearby Hlimen of Aizawl district, at least five people died and four others are still missing when several houses collapsed in a landslide, the MSDMA said.

A building in Aizawl’s Salem Veng caved in due to a landslide, following which three persons went missing and their bodies were recovered later, an official said.

The MSDMA said one person each died in Falkawn, Lungsei and Kelsih of Aizawl district when landslides buried their houses.

It also stated that eight members of a family inside a house were swept away by a heavy landslide at Chawnpui of Aizawl district.

50 families shifted

Aizawl was cut off for the whole day from the rest of the country due to landslides on National Highway-6 at Hunthar and NH-54 at Bungbangla. The road blockages were cleared in the evening and the traffic movement was restored, the officials said.

More than 50 families were shifted to safer places when their houses submerged due to the overflowing of the Tlawng river at Sairang village, about 21 km from Aizawl, said the Aizawl DC.

Around 150 houses have been destroyed, dozens of trees and electric poles were uprooted, several roads were blocked and over 50 dwelling units were submerged across Mizoram in a trail of destruction left by the aftereffect of cyclone Remal.

Assam deaths

In Assam, four people, including a woman, were killed and 18 others injured in separate incidents on Tuesday as heavy rain accompanied by strong wind lashed the state in the aftermath of cyclone Remal, officials said.

Mintu Talukdar, aged 19, died in Nabajyoti Nagar in Satgaon area of Kamrup (Metropolitan) district when a tree fell on their house and his father was also injured. A 60-year-old woman, identified as Labanya Kumari, was injured when a tree fell on her in Kamrup district. She later died in Gauhati Medical College Hospital.

Another person, Putul Gogoi, died in a landslide caused by incessant rain at the under-construction NHPC's Lower Subansiri Hydroelectric Power project in Gerukamukh in Lakhimpur district, officials said.

A vehicle damaged by a tree that fell on it amid strong winds following landfall of Cyclone Remal, at Bishalgarh near Agartala | PTI

Destruction in Assam

Kausik Bordoloi Amphi, a 17-year-old college student, was killed when a tree fell on an auto-rickshaw in which he was travelling in Dighalbori in Morigaon district. Four other people in the vehicle were injured.

In Sonitpur district’s Dhekiajuli, a tree fell on a school bus, injuring 12 children. They were admitted to a local hospital.

Reports of uprooted trees and damaged houses and power infrastructure came from across the state with the disaster response force, fire service, police, health and forest officials being engaged in restorative efforts.

Flash floods have been reported in parts of Karimganj district, prompting the local administration to remain on high alert.

The storm over east Bangladesh is moving east-northeast at 15 km/hour and is expected to weaken by Wednesday night.

(With agency inputs)

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