UTV

Mizoram: Stone Quarry Collapses Amid Heavy Rains, 15 Dead

Aizawl: At least 17 people, including two minors, were killed and six-seven others were missing as a stone quarry collapsed in Mizoram’s Aizawl district on Tuesday morning amid incessant rain in the aftermath of cyclone Remal, officials said.

Several other people also went missing in landslides elsewhere in the state capital which was cut off from the rest of the country.

The incident happened around 6 am in an area between Melthum and Hlimen on the southern outskirts of Aizawl town.

“We have recovered 17 bodies so far and the rescue operations are going on. We suspect that 6-7 more people are still trapped under the rubble,” Mizoram Director General of Police Anil Shukla told PTI.

He said that heavy rain was affecting rescue operations at the disaster site.

The rain triggered landslides at several other places in the state and at least two persons have been “swept away”, Shukla said.

Aizawl’s Deputy Commissioner Nazuk Kumar said that the search operations will continue till the entire site is cleared.

A four-year-old boy and a six-year-old girl are among the victims of the stone quarry collapse, another police officer said.

“We have also rescued two persons alive from the site,” he said.

A landslide swept away a building in Aizawl’s Salem Veng, following which three persons went missing. Search is underway for them, an official said.

The state capital has been cut off from the rest of the country due to a landslide on National Highway 6 at Hunthar, officials said.

Besides, several intra-state highways have also been disrupted by landslides, they said.

Chief Minister Lalduhoma convened an emergency meeting with Home Minister K Sapdanga, Chief Secretary Renu Sharma and other senior officials to take stock of the situation, a senior official said.

The CM announced Rs 4 lakh ex-gratia for the families of those killed in calamities caused by rains, including the quarry collapse.

He handed over cheques of Rs 2 lakh each to the families of the eight Mizo people who died in the quarry collapse and said the remaining amount would be given to them soon.

Home Minister K Sapdanga told PTI, “The identity of the four non-tribal people is being verified. If they are permanent residents of Mizoram, they will be given the ex-gratia amount. If they came here temporarily to work, their families will not get any financial support.”

Lalduhoma said the government has earmarked Rs 15 crore to tackle disasters triggered by rains, which occurred as an aftereffect of cyclone Remal.

Later, Lalduhoma along with Sapdanga, who also handles the Disaster Management and Rehabilitation Department, visited the stone quarry site to take stock of the situation and oversee the rescue operations.

Because of the rains, all schools were closed and government employees, except those involved in providing essential services, were asked to work from home.

Meanwhile, more than 30 families were shifted to safer places due to unprecedented flooding of the Tlawng river at Sairang village, about 21 km from Aizawl, a senior official said.

“Several farms on the bank of the river have been submerged by the water. The water level is continuing to rise. However, no casualty has been reported,” he added.

In Aizawl town, some cemeteries have also been swept away by landslides, and over 150 graves damaged.

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