Guwahati, Monday, July 25, 2016
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Admin steps to mitigate landslide disasters
PRANJAL BHUYAN

 
 GUWAHATI, July 24 - With the city witnessing three deaths from landslides so far this month, the Kamrup Metro district administration and the District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) have now decided to enhance capacity building exercises amongst public and other stakeholders to prevent repeat of such incidents in future.

In this regard, the administration has called upon the public, especially those in the landslide-vulnerable localities, to take certain steps. This has been done as a follow-up to the ‘Landslide Advisory’ issued earlier, said officials.

People have been asked to contact fire brigade, police and PWD, inform neighbhours and evacuate or move away from the path of landslides or debris flow in case of suspicion about imminent landslide danger.

They have been requested to help neighbhours who may require special assistance like infants, elderly people and people with disabilities and follow local radio and TV stations for latest emergency information.

People have been told to watch for flooding which may occur after a landslide or flow of debris as both events may be started by the cause.

Citizens should also look for and report broken utility lines to appropriate authorities as turning off such utilities as quickly as possible will prevent further hazard and injury.

The administration said that residents should check the building foundations, chimneys and surrounding land for damage which may help in assessing the safety of the area.

It said that damaged grounds should be refilled as soon as possible since erosion caused by loss of ground cover can lead to flash flooding.

The administration has suggested that residents seek advice of geotechnical experts for evaluating landslide hazards or designing corrective techniques to reduce landslide risk.

People have been asked to develop a family disaster plan and learn about landslide risk in their localities and contact departments and experts concerned in this regard.

The administration said that landslides take place in areas where they have occurred earlier and so people should ask for information on landslides in their localities and undertake a site analysis of their properties to take corrective measures if necessary.

It has also asked the people in landslide-prone localities to talk to their insurance agents and also prepare an evacuation plan by discussing the matter with all members of the family.

Officials added that meetings with citizens’ bodies have already been started with participation of departments concerned to sensitise people about dangers from landslides.

A survey of different hillocks for landslide-vulnerable sites through the soil conservation department earlier this year had identified 26 vulnerable sites, while an earlier study by the Assam Engineering College had identified 366 landslide-prone spots in the city.

Following landslides at South Sarania, Kharghuli and Bamunimaidam earlier this month in which three persons had died, the district administration had issued directions to the Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) and the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) to ensure that NoCs are obtained before giving permission to construct boundary walls, guard walls and other structures in hilly areas of the city.

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