India – 18 Dead as Floods and Landslides in North East Affect Thousands

A week of heavy rain in north eastern areas of India has resulted in floods and deadly landslides in 3 states in the region.

As many as 18 people have been killed in Arunachal Pradesh after heavy rain triggered 2 major landslides there. Usually early “pre-monsoon” floods in Assam have affected over 40,000 people. Meanwhile hundreds have been left homeless in the state of Nagaland after floods and landslides struck in Mon district.

The floods and landslides in the north east come at a time when other areas of the country are facing a heatwave. Warnings have been issued in at least 9 other states across India for the coming days by India Meteorological Department (IMD).

Arunachal Pradesh Landslide

The heavy rain also triggered two landslides in the both eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh over the last week.

At least 16 people died in landslide in Phamla village in Tawang district on Friday, 22 April 2016. A further landslide in Tawang district killed at least two people and destroyed property on Saturday 23 April.

The Indian Army have been carrying our search and rescue operations. In a statement on Friday they said:

“Three ‎Indian Army‬ rescue columns with a medical team was pressed in the early hours on receiving the unfortunate news of landslide in village Phamla, Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh on 21/22 April. Army recovered sixteen dead bodies from the site and moved the survivors to a safe area.”

Tawang landslide. Photo: NDMA India
Tawang landslide. Photo: NDMA India
Tawang landslide, April 2016. Photo: Indian Army
Tawang landslide, April 2016. Photo: Indian Army
Tawang landslide, April 2016. Photo: Indian Army
Tawang landslide, April 2016. Photo: Indian Army

Assam Floods

Assam is experiencing what have been described as pre-monsoon floods. Usually it is June that marks the start of the flood season in Assam, when the Brahmaputra River and its tributaries overflow as a result of the monsoon rains in Assam and upstream Arunachal Pradesh.

However, recent havey rainfall in catchment areas has reached parts of Assam and the State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) say that areas in the the districts of Lakhimpur, Jorhat and Sivsagar have been flooded, affecting 42,658 people.

Charaideo sub-division of Sivasagar district is among the worst affected. Some communities have been cut-off there by flood waters after the Burhidihing and Desang rivers overflowed.

Earlier today (25 April, 2016) levels of the River Desang at Nanglamoraghat in Sibsagar district stood at 96.26m, where the danger level is considered to be 94.6 metres.

The army, the National Disaster Response Force and the State Disaster Response Force are assisting in rescue and relief operations.

There have also been reports of landslides triggered by torrential rain in several places in Dima Hasao hill district

Nagaland Floods and Landslides

In the neighbouring state of Nagaland, Mon district has been severely affected by floods and landslides where damage to houses and infrastructure has been recorded. Over 100 houses have been severely damaged, forcing residents to evacuate, according to local media.

Rainfall

Figures below according to India Meteorological Department (IMD).

Yachuli, in the Lower Subansiri district of Arunachal Pradesh recorded 79 mm of rain in 24 hours on 22 April 2016 and 52 mm the previous day.

In Assam, Harinagar in Cachar district recorded 62 mm of rain in 24 hours on 23 April and 93mm the day before.

In Bhandari, Wokha district, Nagaland, 79 mm of rain was recorded in 24 hours on 19 April.

IMD warn of thunderstorms accompanied by hail are likely at isolated places in Assam and Nagaland over the next 48 hours.

Meanwhile warnings for extremely high temperatures have been issued in at least 9 other states across the country for the coming days.

Heatwave warnings for India, 25 April 2016. Image: IMD
Heatwave warnings for India, 25 April 2016. Image: IMD

Bangladesh Rivers Rising

The heavy rain in catchment areas of the Brahmaputra River could also threaten flooding in areas of Bangladesh.

Bangladesh Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre reported earlier today that the Brahmaputra-Jamuna and the Ganges river systems are showing a rising trend. The Padma and Surma-Kushiyara river systems are also rising.

The forecast centre also reported that “due to continuous rainfall in the North Eastern part of Bangladesh and boundary of the neighbour country, flash floods occurred in a few areas of Sylhet and Sunamganj districts, which may likely deteriorate in the next 24 hours.”