Imphal Floods: Manipur’s Capital City Submerged, Relief Work in Violence-hit Areas Impacted

The Imphal River's overflow flooded low-lying areas in Imphal West and East, especially Heingang, the constituency of Chief Minister N Biren Singh.
Flooding in parts of the city
Flooding in parts of the cityX

New Delhi: The flood situation in Manipur deteriorated on May 29, with more areas in the valley getting submerged and thousands of people affected.

Hundreds of people were evacuated from flood-hit areas as the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), fire service, security forces and local volunteers sprang into action to rescue those impacted by the flash floods.

A report indicated that the state fire service has rescued over 200 individuals, including women and children, who were trapped by the floodwater in Kairang and Lairikyengbam areas of Imphal East.

The overflow of the Imphal and other rivers led to the inundation of several low-lying areas in Imphal West and Imphal East districts, including the state capital, exacerbating the flood situation.

The Imphal River, a major water body passing through the city, breached its banks at various locations, resulting in the flooding of the state capital and its outskirts, with Heingang Assembly constituency, the home constituency of Chief Minister N Biren Singh, being the worst affected.

The breach of the Imphal River's banks, along with the overflow of other rivers like the Nambul, worsened the situation in these areas, causing flash floods due to waterlogging from continuous rain over the past three days.

Business activities in major markets in Imphal, including Khwairamband Keithel, were disrupted as these areas were submerged by floodwater from the breached banks of the Imphal River. With water still flowing through these breaches, more areas continued to be inundated at the time of this report.

Additionally, the overflow of rivers has flooded many areas in other valley districts such as Thoubal, Kakching and Bishnupur.

In a statement, the Assam Rifles reported that its troops successfully conducted a rescue operation in the flood-affected areas of Imphal city, providing relief to distressed and stranded individuals on May 28.

The troops rescued around 1,000 people from flood-affected areas.

Assam Riffles

Visuals from the state depict local residents stepping up to take charge of relief efforts amid the flooding. In many areas, fishermen have repurposed their makeshift boats to navigate the floodwater and rescue stranded individuals.

These community-driven efforts highlight the resilience and solidarity among people, as they work tirelessly to provide aid and support to their neighbors in the alleged absence of formal assistance. Fishermen can be seen "fishing" for stranded people, ensuring they are brought to safety and receive the help they need during this crisis.

Rajkumar Imo Singh, MLA from Sagolband constituency of Manipur, stated, “The flood must have been the worst in the last 25-30 years. In my 12 years as a legislator, I have not seen this kind of flooding within the Greater Imphal areas.”

He appealed to the communities to stay together and take care of each other.

flood-affected areas of Khuman Lampak Sport Complex, Imphal
flood-affected areas of Khuman Lampak Sport Complex, ImphalX

“We have been living in terrible times. There is constant power outage and no safe place to be,” Santa Khurai, a trans activist based in Imphal, told The Mooknayak.

It is important to note that the natural disaster comes at a time when the state is already dealing with the fallout of the ethnic clashes, which started a year ago.

As of May 3, 2024, government figures report that the violence has resulted in 221 deaths and the displacement of 60,000 people. Additionally, 4,786 houses have been burned, and 386 religious structures, including temples and churches, have been vandalized.

Many victims have been staying in relief camps ever since; and according to Santa Khurai, many such camps were located near the river — which must have affected the victims.

According to Imphal Free Press, more than 60,000 people have been living in relief camps.

The activist further said that the flood has made it difficult for relief work to take place as the work was mainly being handled by volunteers and non-profit organizations, who are now finding it difficult to even leave their homes.

“Another important thing is that this natural calamity will be used by the government as an excuse to delay looking into the victims of violence and the organizations demands,” Khurai anticipated.

Rescue Operations Near the State Museum
Rescue Operations Near the State MuseumX

What is CM Saying?

Chief Minister Singh, who inspected some of the flooded areas and breached banks of the Imphal River, said in an online post that the water breaches in several riverbanks have severely affected many lives, including cattle.

Claiming that those stranded in severely affected areas are being relocated to safe locations using boats, he wrote. “We are closely monitoring the water breach at North AOC now.”

State security forces, officials from the water resources department and volunteers are collaborating to address the issue. "I urge everyone to remain calm and not to panic," he appealed.

The continuous rain caused by Cyclone Remal has also impacted various parts of Manipur's hill districts, particularly Noney, Tamenglong, Senapati, Kangpokpi, Ukhrul and Churachandpur.

You can also join our WhatsApp group to get premium and selected news of The Mooknayak on WhatsApp. Click here to join the WhatsApp group.

The Mooknayak English - Voice Of The Voiceless