“Friend Died After Saving Me”: Manipur Landslide Survivor Recounts Horror

Romen Phukan was among the 80-odd men who were at the site of the incident when a catastrophic landslide washed away their camps in Manipur.

Guwahati: Romen Phukan, 35, still can’t believe he is alive.
Haunted by the shouts for assist after the landslide hit their camp in Manipur last week, he relates how the horror unfolded – and that he saw his companion pass on before him minutes after he saved his life.

Mr Phukan was among the 80-odd men who were at the site of the episode on Wednesday night, when a catastrophic landslide washed away their camps in Tupul in Noney district, covering those at the site under rocks and mud.

Something like 42 individuals have passed on in the catastrophe.

A development worker from Assam’s Morigaon, Mr Phukan is presently under therapy at the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences in Imphal with different wounds, alongside handfuls others protected after the avalanche.

He has worked for recent years for a confidential development organization connected by the Railways to fabricate the 111-km Jiribam-Imphal rail link, a mega project of the central government.

“It was a typical evening – until the earth moved,” he reviews.

“We were watching a film and dozed after 12 PM. We were in profound rest yet awakened to the earth shaking – like a quake. Before long, the slope came crashing down. There were mud and rocks. Our camps were lowered and everything was washed away into the stream – even individuals,” says Mr Phukan, who had gotten back to the work site four months prior from Assam.

“I was covered under the mud. Yet, some way or another, I figured out how to eliminate mud and slow down and rest,” he tells NDTV.

The water level in the stream was rising and individuals were shouting for help. “They shouted ‘bachaao’, however nobody could help another,” he says.

“I was saved by my companion Gopal Phukan. He drove me away from the water. Be that as it may, minutes after the fact he kicked the bucket in the landslide,” he says. “As the water level rose, the shouts blurred.”

Mr Phukan was protected by the townspeople the following morning.

Around 25 of the people in question, including the dead and the harmed, were from Assam and the state government is pursuing transporting the bodies and the harmed workers back to the state. Assam bureau serve Pijush Hazarika is administering the treatment of the harmed.

Avalanches are normal in the slopes, expresses residents in Tupul who were the specialists on call after Wednesday’s avalanche. However, a whole slope crashing down is something they had never seen.

“This is the greatest avalanche of all time. We have not seen anything this large ever. We, local people, with anything we have, uncovered individuals from the mud,” said Kumar Khumba, a neighborhood youth who is helping in the salvage tasks.

Other than the quest for avalanche casualties, dead and alive, rescuers from the Army and Territorial Army jawans are likewise searching for programmed weapons, arms, and ammo nearby, sources said.