Mudslide leaves 19 dead, 50 missing in northeastern India

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GAUHATI, India — Rescuers found more bodies on Friday as they resumed the search for dozens of missing people after a mudslide triggered by weeks of torrential downpours killed at least 19 people at a railway construction site in northeastern India, officials said.

In Noney, a town near Imphal, the capital of Manipur state, soldiers joined more than 200 workers and police officers who used bulldozers and other equipment to rescue those trapped under the rubble. But the terrain makes it difficult to move heavy equipment, circuit judge H. Guite said, adding that he had asked for reinforcements.

Intermittent rain continued in the region, where 19 bodies have been recovered so far, after a hill collapsed, burying the railroad project area, Guite told The Associated Press.

Lieutenant General RP Kalita, head of the Army’s Eastern Command, visited the site. He said 13 soldiers and five civilians were rescued from the rubble of the completely swept away train station, staff living quarters and other infrastructure being built.

The army also set up a medical station on site to treat the rescued, Kalita said.

Eighteen people with injuries were hospitalized, Guite said. He put the number of people still missing at around 50.

A flowing river was blocked by the debris, creating a dam-like structure, he said. People living nearby have been asked to head to safe areas.

Ten of the confirmed dead were members of the Territorial Army. Army personnel had been keeping railroad officials safe because of a decades-long insurgency that sought a home for ethnic and tribal groups in the area.

Most of those swept away by the mudslide were asleep when it hit the area early Thursday. Some survivors recalled being swept away by the debris from the mound, the Times of India daily quoted Daichuipao, a resident.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he has checked the situation with local authorities. “All possible support from the center (federal government) assured,” he tweeted.

Steady rains over the past three weeks have wreaked havoc across eight-state, eight-state India and 45 million people in northeastern India and neighboring Bangladesh.

An estimated 200 people have been killed in torrential downpours and mudslides in states including Assam, Manipur, Tripura and Sikkim, while 42 people have died in Bangladesh since May 17. Hundreds of thousands of people were displaced.

Scientists say climate change is a factor behind the erratic, early rains that triggered the unprecedented floods. Monsoon rains in South Asia usually start in June, but torrential rains lashed northeast India and Bangladesh as early as March this year.

As global temperatures rise due to climate change, experts say the monsoon season is becoming more variable, meaning much of the rain that would normally fall throughout the season is arriving in less time. Mudslide leaves 19 dead, 50 missing in northeastern India

Dustin Huang

Dustin Huang is a 24ssports U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Dustin Huang joined 24ssports in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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