By Elton Gomes
After Kerala was battered by incessant rain, Nagaland is also witnessing its worst floods due to torrential rain.
A primary cause of the flooding has been the excess amount of rain in the upper reaches of Nagaland – this has resulted in the rise of the water level at the Doyang Hydroelectric project in Wokha District. The release of additional water from the dam has led to flooding in the downstream areas including in Assam’s Golaghat district.
Kiphere, a district that shares its border with Myanmar is the worst affected. Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio visited Kiphere on August 28 and appealed for help via Twitter.
#Nagaland needs your #help. Incessant rain has caused floods & landslides in several parts of the state & have affected many. #Relief #helpinghand #NorthEast @PMOIndia @narendramodi @HMOIndia @rajnathsingh @KirenRijiju @MDoNER_India @DrJitendraSingh pic.twitter.com/OC3fmLYCcB
— Neiphiu Rio (@Neiphiu_Rio) August 29, 2018
The death toll stands at 12
Torrential rains in Nagaland over the past one month has claimed 12 lives, while a thousand others have been displaced due to floods. Beginning in late July, rains wrecked havoc in the North Eastern state and resulted in the displacement of 3,000 families across 400 villages.
“The damage this year is unprecedented in the (sic) history,” said Temjen Toy, Chief Secretary of Nagaland. The state contributed Rs. 1 crore towards the Kerala flood relief fund, Hindustan Times reported.
In an interim report to the Centre, the Nagaland government has demanded Rs 219 crore for immediate help. However, officials feel that the demand could rise to up to Rs 400 crore, although the damage is estimated to be around Rs 800 crore as of now.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh takes stock of the situation
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday spoke to Nagaland Chief Minister Rio about the damage caused by floods and landslides in several places of the state. “NDRF teams are being rushed to the state by the MHA to carry out rescue and relief operations,” Singh said on Twitter, as per the Indian Express.
Nagaland officials have said that major roads, including NH-29, have been cut off and that there is a power failure due to the rising water level at the Doyang hydroelectric project.
China issues warning; North East on high alert
China has alerted India as water levels continue to rise in river Tsangpo, known as Siang in Arunachal Pradesh and the Brahmaputra in Assam. Arunachal Pradesh MP Ninong Ering said the rising water levels could indicate the possibility of floods in downstream areas.
Ering said that China shared the news after heavy rains led to swelling waters in Tsangpo. “The local authorities told me that the Chinese government has conveyed to the Indian government that there is a possibility of floods in parts of Arunachal Pradesh. We have taken the alert seriously and cautioned people,” he told PTI, the Indian Express reported.
In Arunachal Pradesh, people living in low-lying areas like Jarku, Paglek, SS Mission, Jarkong, Banskota, Berung, Sigar, Borghuli, Kongkul, Namsing, and Mer along the Siang river have now been asked to remain on alert after China’s warning. The administration has warned people to not venture into the Siang river for fishing, swimming, or other activities. Assam will also be on high alert as it tends to be highly flood-prone even under normal monsoon conditions.
Starting around mid-August, Kerala witnessed innumerable damages after torrential rain wreaked havoc in several places of the state. Kerala received aid from numerous sources and is recently getting back on its feet. During a special Assembly session to discuss relief measures, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that a total of 483 people lost their lives in the floods, landslides, and other rain-related incidents. Around 140 people were said to be admitted to hospitals, while 14 people are still missing. Vijayan said that the losses due to the floods and landslides are more than Kerala’s annual plan. In the fiscal year 2017-18, Kerala’s annual plan outlay amounted to Rs 26,500 crore.
Elton Gomes is a staff writer at Qrius
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