Monsoon covers most of northeast, creates havoc in Tripura, Mizoram (Lead, correcting figure in para six)

Last Updated: Wed, Jun 13, 2018 20:56 hrs

Agartala/Guwahati/Aizawl, June 13 (IANS) The Southwest Monsoon has already covered most parts of northeast India while the floods caused due to heavy rains are creating havoc in Tripura and Mizoram, officials said on Wednesday.

At least four people were killed in different places of Tripura as the flood waters inundated many villages, homes, and paddy fields besides low-lying areas. Waters of many rivers of Tripura are flowing over the danger levels.

Landslides have occurred in many places of Tripura and Mizoram affecting movement of traffic.

Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, who made an aerial survey in the worst-affected parts in the north of the state and reviewed the latest situation arising due to the heavy downpour, urged the people residing in low-lying areas to move to safer places or relief camps.

According to an official of the Tripura Disaster Management Control Centre, at least four people, including two aged men and a teenager, died across Tripura due to landslides, falling trees or fishing in flooded rivers.

He said that till Wednesday afternoon, over 15,000 people of 6,500 families took shelter in around 200 relief camps mostly in northern Tripura.

"We have kept ready a Pawan Hans helicopter and sent requisition to the Indian Air Force (IAF) to provide two more copters to rescue marooned people and to provide relief to the affected families if necessary," the official said.

A Mizoram government release said that heavy rainfall with intermittent squalls continues to batter the entire state since Sunday night, wreaking havoc and causing large scale damage to public infrastructure and private property in many parts of the state.

"Hundreds of families were evacuated from the flood-hit areas. Many inhabited areas, houses, paddy fields, roads and low-lying areas were inundated.

"Normal life was badly affected in Aizawl and various other parts of Mizoram due to torrential rains. Many electric poles and trees were uprooted affecting supply of electricity."

"The main road to Lengpui Aiport has been blocked by mudslides even as the clearance work is going on. Various authorities of the government are working in full swing to bring normalcy in the state," the statement said.

Last week, 10 people were killed and four others, including minor children, injured during a landslide at Lunglawn in the state's Lunglei district.

India Meteorological Department officials in Guwahati and Agartala said that the Southwest Monsoon has already covered most of the northeastern states, but private weather forecaster Skymet said it has covered mainly the eastern half of the region whereas the western part still awaits its arrival.

According to Skymet, normally monsoon covers the entire stretch of northeast India during the first week of June. But, this year, despite making an on-time arrival, the pace of the southwest monsoon - which advances over northeast India takes place by two ways: due to the monsoon surge driving along the Bay of Bengal; and under the influence of any weather system developing in the Bay of Bengal - is slow.

"Northeast India is one of the rainiest pockets of the country. During the Southwest Monsoon season and almost 30 per cent of the seasonal rainfall is contributed by this region. However, as of now, until June 10, northeast India is rainfall deficient by 49 per cent," it said.

--IANS

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