Rescuers in India’s northeastern state of Manipur on Friday pulled eight more bodies from the mud after a massive landslide. The number of confirmed deaths in the disaster rose to 19, according to officials.
The landslide hit Noney district early on Thursday, about 50 km north of Imphal, the capital of Manipur.
“So far we have safely rescued 18 people including Territorial Army personnel. Eight bodies were pulled out yesterday and eight more were pulled out of the mud today. Now a total of 55 people are missing,” Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh said during a press conference.
According to officials, the landslide hit a railway construction camp in Tupulit, where some people were guarding a large railway yard.
“We hope to complete the search and rescue operations within 2-3 days. The ground is so soft that there can hardly be any movement. Heavy rescue vehicles cannot get through,” said Singh.
Authorities have asked the Indian Army, paramilitary and disaster management response forces to conduct search operations.
“A through-the-wall imaging radar (TWIR) is also being induced from the air to detect the presence of personnel buried in debris. A search and rescue dog is also being brought in,” reports a local media outlet citing an official announcement.
The landslide has completely blocked a river flowing through Tamenglong and Noney districts.
Officials said the landslide has obstructed the river’s flow and created a dam-like water body, which is likely to flood low-lying areas if the debris is removed.
The local administration has issued an advisory to people living in low-lying areas and asked them to be prepared to evacuate in case there is more rain.
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