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Two schoolgirls killed in Arunachal Pradesh landslide

Two schoolgirls killed in Arunachal Pradesh landslide

(Eds: With more details, fresh developments) Itanagar, Jul 12 (PTI) Two girls were buried in their sleep and three others were injured after a landslide caused a boundary wall to collapse on the hostel building of a school in Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh, police said Friday. The incident occurred at the hostel of a government school at Namtsering village on Thursday when 19 girl students were asleep in their rooms, Tawang Superintendent of Police (SP) Sagar Singh Kalsi said. The landslide triggered by incessant downpour struck the boundary wall with tremendous force and it fell on the hostel building, a portion of which collapsed burying the girls. The hostel building was of semi-pucca type and its walls were weaker than the boundary wall, officials said. Chief Minister Pema Khandu expressed grief at the death of Genden Wangmu and Rinchi Lhamu, students of classes 5 and 6 respectively, and announced an exgratia of Rs 4 lakh to each of their families. An official statement said three girls were injured in the incident and they have been treated at hospitals at Lumla and Tawang. With the state capital witnessing landslips, mudslides and road blockades due to heavy rainfall for several days, the district administration has ordered closure of all schools in Itanagar till Sunday. Khandu directed the chief secretary to personally monitor the situation and shift the people from vulnerable areas to safer places. A 23-year-old woman was reportedly swept away by flashflood in West Kameng district on Monday and is still untraceable. The Itanagar-Naharlagun stretch of NH-415, which is being upgraded to a four-lane highway, is the worst hit by the monsoon fury. Landslides and disruption of surface communication have also been reported from West and East Kameng, East and West Siang, and Pakke-Kessang districts. The Bhalukpong-Charduar-Tawang (BCT) road remained closed in West Kameng district for the sixth day on Friday as massive landslides were reported at several places. Deputy Commissioner (DC) of the district Sonal Swaroop has restricted the movement of all types of vehicles on the road between the Pinjoli bridge point and Tenga for over a month since July 11. The DC has advised commuters to avoid travelling through the road and to take a detour through the Orang- Kalaktang-Shergaon-Rupa-Tenga (OKSRT) road. The Border Roads Task Force (BRTF) has been asked to clear the debris and take up road restoration works on a war footing. Meanwhile, the Seppa-Tezpur road has been blocked near Jayanti village in East Kameng district due to a massive landslide. Expressing concern, the chief minister has asked the departments concerned to coordinate among themselves and work out an emergency mitigation plan under the supervision of the chief secretary. He has also directed the disaster management department to issue instructions to district administrations to provide sufficient relief materials, food and drinking water to the flood-affected people. PTI UPL BDC MM RC NN SMNSMN