As heavy rains in Nagaland claim 12 lives in a month, CM seeks help from Centre

Twelve lives were lost and thousands displaced in incessant rains in parts of Nagaland in the past one month. Chief minister Neiphiu Rio seeked Central help on Wednesday while other north-eastern states have seen deficient rainfall this monsoon.

“The damage this year is unprecedented in the history,” said Temjen Toy, chief secretary, Nagaland. The state had contributed Rs one crore for Kerala flood relief earlier this month.

Starting late July, the hilly state has witnessed heavy rains which claimed 12 lives and displaced than 3000 families in around 400 villages, Nagaland State Disaster Management Authority said.

In an interim report to the Centre, the state government demanded Rs 219 crore as immediate help. The officials said the demand is likely to go up to Rs 400 crore even as the damage is pegged at around Rs 800 crore as of now.

“#Nagaland needs your #help. Incessant rain has caused floods & landslides in several parts of the state & have affected many,” said Rio in a tweet.

Quite interestingly, northeast India has seen a deficit rainfall this year. According to figures from the Regional Metrological Centre, Guwahati, till August 29, Nagaland has seen a 26% deficit this season, while Assam has 30%, Meghalaya 43%, Manipur 68%, Arunachal Pradesh 46%, Tripura 17% and Mizoram 6%.

“It is the nature of the rainfall which is disruptive. It pours 100 mm in one hour,” said Johnny Asin, officer on special duty, disaster management, Nagaland government.

The flooding has primarily been caused because of rains in upper reaches of Nagaland leading to the rise in water level at the Doyang Hydro electric project in Wokha District. The release of additional water from the dam twice has resulted in flooding in the downstream areas including Golaghat district of Assam, said a report in HT.

As many as three districts remain cut off even as the authorities have tried to divert through alternate routes. “The state of affairs is so sad that the main Dimapur to Kohima national highway is blocked,” Toy said. “We are diverting traffic through rural roads, not allowing any truck with load of more than ten tonnes,” Johnny Asin told HT.

The state government is hoping for the Centre to lend a generous helping hand. “The entire capital outlay of the state is Rs 500 crore. This damage alone is going to cost us more,” Toy said.