A large landslide triggered by four days of heavy rainfall hit Laptap village in the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh on Tuesday afternoon, July 11, 2017, burying several homes and leaving at least 16 people dead and 6 missing. Authorities are urging residents to remain alert and move from vulnerable places.
The slide took place around 15:30 local time at Laptap village under Toru circle, about 20 km (12.4 miles) away from Sagalee in Papum Pare district.
“According to preliminary reports, a hill caved in on a human settlement area trapping about two dozen-odd villagers. Locals have retrieved 16 bodies from the area and about six more are reported to be missing,” Nabam Tuki, a local lawmaker, told Reuters.
“All roads leading to the village are cut off as there are heavy landslides. Medical teams are having a tough time reaching the village. We suspect the death toll would mount as no rescue effort is possible now with the weather conditions very bad,” he said following the disaster.
Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu expressed deep shock and grief over the incident and ordered urgent rescue operation to evacuate any survivor.
According to Additional Deputy Commissioner Jalash Pertin, chances of any survivor are dim, but rescue operation is on.
Khandu asked the administration to provide all necessary assistance like food and medicine to the affected people and shift them to safer locations.
“Arunachal Pradesh has been at the receiving end of nature’s fury every year and the best people can do is avoid vulnerable places and stop rampant air cutting and deforestation,” he concluded.
Last week, over 150 people were trapped at Sagalee area following massive landslides and were later rescued by Indian Air Force. During the rescue mission, one IAF helicopter crashed, killing four people.