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3 missing persons still untraced Manipur storm

Navy divers and NDRF personnel conducting a search operation to trace three missing persons in the reservoir of the Mapithel dam in Manipur on Wednesday. – Photo: Correspondent
 IMPHAL, May 1 - The three persons who went missing after their boat capsized during a storm on Sunday have remained untraced. A team of 12 naval divers joined the ongoing search operations in the reservoir of the Mapithel dam in Kamjong district today. The dam site is located about 35 north east of Imphal.

The search operation was initially spearheaded by a 22-member team of the National Disaster Response Force from its 12th battalion in Arunachal Pradesh, State Disaster Response Force, State police and fire services department.

The naval divers, along with diving equipment and portable boats, were airlifted from Visakhapatnam by an Indian Air Force aircraft to Imphal on Tuesday night.

Officer in-charge of Litan Police Station told The Assam Tribune over the phone that there is still no sign of any recovery. He added that the search would resume tomorrow.

On Sunday afternoon, three persons – Rajib (35), S Romen (29) and N Rani (19) from Ningthoukhong Kha-Khunou village in Bishnupur district – went missing after their boats capsized in a storm in the reservoir of the dam. Though locals rescued nine others, the three could not be traced.

The storm damaged many houses and educational institutions, and uprooted trees, electric poles and disturbed power supply.

Meanwhile, in the wake of Sunday’s incident and a similar incident in Imphal river where a man, N Thoibi of Nongmaikhong Makha Leikai village in Kakching district, drowned, the State Government has banned operation of all types of unauthorised boats and vessels in reservoirs, rivers, lakes and inland water bodies. Chief Secretary Dr J Suresh Babu issued an office memorandum in this regard today.

“...there should be life jackets on boats as per specification and other safety measures prescribed by the NDMA (National Disaster Management Authority),” stated the memorandum. “No boats will be allowed to operate after sunset, before sunrise and during weather/cyclonic warnings,” it added.

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