Manipur Raj Bhawan, capital, market flooded courtesy Remal cyclone

Manipur Raj Bhawan, capital, market flooded courtesy Remal cyclone


Imphal, May 31: The Manipur valley districts have been flooded due to heavy rainfall since Monday last. Cyclone Remal, which has hit Manipur since Monday, has turned the state into a huge water body.

Imphal East, Imphal West, Bishnupur, Thoubal, and Kakching districts have faced the major brunt as water pouring down from the hills has led to major rivers like Nambul, Iril, Kongba, and Imphal flowing above flood levels.

So far, about three people have died and many have been injured. Above 30000 houses were completely inundated beside the Kangla Fort, Raj Bhawan, Polo Ground, the main markets, and government offices. Since Wednesday, rescue work has started by evacuating thousands of children and senior citizens.

The Army, Assam Rifles, Manipur Police, and volunteers have joined the effort to rescue the stranded people. The two main rivers, the Nambul and the Imphal, which flow in the heart of the city, were flooded, and the water from the two rivers overflowed and inundated most of the city and the valley areas.

The Chief Minster’s Secretariat informed us that SDRF teams, along with teams from the NDRF, Manipur Police, Indian Army, Assam Rifles, Manipur Fire Service, district administration, local authorities, and local volunteers, are carrying out rescue operations. The Water Resources Department has been at the forefront of tackling breaches and overflows of key rivers flowing in the Imphal Valley.

Breaches along the Imphal River embankments have been closed. The volunteers have also controlled the overflow of water at various locations along the river in Imphal East and Imphal West districts.

Two major embankments at Kekrupat near Kangla Northern Gate have been closed, and to save the Kangla fort and surrounding areas, Chief Minister N Biren Singh and his Cabinet colleagues were supervising the works. As the driving of heavy machinery in the muddy area was dangerous and difficult, a young minister, Susindro, was himself driving an earth mover.

All the markets were under water, and people got no chance to take out goods as the embankments were never broken earlier.

The flow of water was blocked by dirt, which was removed near the bridges.

Governor Anusuiya Uikey also surveyed the Raj Bhawan complex in a boat with staff, and the official residence, which is slightly elevated, was yet to be submerged by water.

The cyclone badly affected the hill districts, especially in Ukhrul, Tamenglong, Kangpokpi, Senapati, and Churachandpur, which recorded major landslides. A major bridge on the Imphal-Jiribam highway was washed away, and the government was trying to restore connectivity by making the Irang bridge operational.

Environmentalists said most of the rivers flowing in the valley areas start from Kangpokpi district, which is a reserved forest area, as the hill range surrounding the valley districts was named Sadar Hills earlier and is a protected forest area. The sudden spurt of villages and people due to the heavy influx from Myanmar has led to soil erosion, and the entire district, which was covered with greens, was destroyed and poppy planted. To save the ecological balance in the state, the Manipur government started a war on drugs, which was opposed by various groups in the district, which ultimately led to a bloody conflict between two ethnic groups since May 3, 2023, which has led to the deaths of over 220 people.


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