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Landslides kill 15 in Arunachal Pradesh
K Anurag | June 14, 2008 14:34 IST
Last Updated: June 14, 2008 18:59 IST
Landslides triggered by incessant rains killed at least 15 people, including seven women and four children, across Arunachal Pradesh on Saturday. The rain also disrupted telecommunication and road links between capital Itanagar and rest of the state.
According to official sources in Itanagar, the number of victims was available from only the affected areas of Itanagar, Nirjuli and Naharlagun areas of Papumpare district.
Reports of casualties, if any, in other parts of the state couldn't be confirmed because of the breakdown of communication system. Itanagar witnessed a major power cut after the landslides, which also affected the water supply to the capital.
A senior official in Papumpare district said that landslides had blocked all entry points from northern Assam, through the National Highway 52A, to the hill state. Incidents of massive landslides, reported from other parts of the hill state, have thrown movements along national highways and state highways out of gear.
Meanwhile, Arunachal Pradesh Governor General (retired) JJ Singh condoled the deaths caused by landslides and instructed the administration to launch rescue operations on a war-footing.
"It is not the rain that killed people, but mindless construction without following safety norms that has claimed so many lives,'' he said and called upon the government to prepare an action plan.
The hill state, along the country's eastern most border with China, is located in a highly seismic zone. But the state government is yet to formulate building by-laws to control unplanned construction of buildings in different urban centers of the state, including capital Itanagar and business centre Naharlagun.