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10 killed, thousands displaced in Northeast floods

By The Assam Tribune

GUWAHATI/ITANAGAR, Sept 12 (IANS) - Ten people were killed and about 300,000 displaced in flash floods and landslides triggered by heavy rains in the northeastern states of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, officials said Sunday.

Heavy rains triggered mudslides and flooding in at least three districts of Arunachal Pradesh, washing away bridges, huts and school buildings, besides devastating agriculture crops, a government spokesperson said.

"The devastation caused by the floods and landslides has been extensive with eight people already killed in incidents of house collapse due to landslides, besides snapping road links in many areas," Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu told IANS.

The casualties were reported early Saturday in Mosing village in Upper Siang district bordering China, where several houses were buried under mounds of earth following landslides.

"We have sounded a maximum alert to prevent casualties and also to help those hit by the disaster," the Chief Minister said.

In adjoining Assam, two people were killed in the past three days of flooding in which about 300,000 people were displaced spread over 250 villages in the four districts of Lakhimpur, Dhemaji, Golaghat and Bongaigaon.

"The situation is still very critical, although we have already alerted all our agencies," Assam Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Bhumidhar Barman said.

A vast stretch of the famed Kaziranga National Park has been inundated, leaving at least one rhino calf and two deer dead.

"Most of the animals are moving to highlands to escape the fury of the floods," a park warden said.

"We have sounded maximum alert and kept disaster management teams on standby. We are also taking stock of essentials and other commodities in the district," the Assam minister said.

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