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8/13/2007

Khongdei landslide: the worst in living memory

India
The Khongdei landslide was the WORST IN LIVING MEMORY. It was a doomsday for the villagers of Khongdei Khuman when their paddy fields, fish, village footpath were carried away by a most fearful and deadly landslide on July 28. A woman working in the fields complained that she felt giddy and her head was spinning, not realizing that the mountain on which she was working was slowly moving down towards the river taking away all the fields located on the hillslope and above due to the unceasing downpour. As she left the field, the mountain started moving down with the sound of thunder and sending up a ball of smoke into the air as seen by neighboring villagers from Shirong. From July 28 to August 4 the nearby villagers heard the sound of the landslide, like the sound of moving vehicles, for days and nights. The Iril river that flows on the eastern side of the landslide portion has been pushed towards the western side burying most of the surrounding fields on the river banks creating three deep lakes with huge stones and mud gathered there due to the landslide. The length of the landslide was roughly about more than 1 km, and its height is 30 minutes walk. If there is rain, this whole portion of hillslope which now remains cracked will go down to its bottom and block the Iril river. “I have never seen such a kind of natural calamity in my lifetime. Now my villagers have to starve as the fields can never be cultivated again." Even the jeepable road which is the lifeline for the villagers has been cut off by the landslide.
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