Twenty people died in landslides in three different districts of Assam on Tuesday, the All India Radio News reported. The deaths have been reported from the Barak valley region in the state’s southern part. Rescue operations are underway.
Thirteen people were killed in landslides in Karimganj and Cachar districts while seven people died in Hailakandi. The region has been experiencing heavy rain over the last few days.
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said he is “deeply anguished” by the loss of lives. “I have directed Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj district administrations and SDRF [State Disaster Response Fund] to step up rescue, relief operations and facilitate all possible help needed to those affected,” he tweeted.
President Ram Nath Kovind also expressed grief over the deaths. “The loss of lives due to heavy rains and landslides in Barak valley, Assam is tragic,” he tweeted. “Local authorities are undertaking rescue and relief efforts. Condolences to the bereaved families. Prayers for everyone’s safety and well-being.”
Assam is already reeling under the impact of floods and also battling the coronavirus pandemic. The toll from the floods in Assam rose to nine on Monday as floodwaters began receding last week.
The floods in Assam have caused extensive damage to agricultural lands. According to the Assam Disaster Management Authority, 24,927 hectares of land in the three districts has been submerged. The floods have also destroyed roads and bridges.
Several parts of Assam and Meghalaya have been receiving extremely heavy rainfall since May 20, after super cyclone Amphan weakened.
Assam has reported 1,390 cases of the coronavirus so far, including four deaths, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.