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Khandu pitches for advance warning system to avert disaster deaths

Itanagar, May 19 (PTI) Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu Thursday stressed on the need for putting in a robust advance warning system to avert the loss of lives due to disasters.

Chairing a meeting on monsoon preparedness, Khandu insisted that the State Emergency Operation Center (SEOC) should be active round the clock during the season.

“Human life is precious. We must go to the extreme to prevent loss of lives,” the chief minister said.

He directed officials of the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) to not depend only on telephonic messages but personally contact their personnel in the districts in case any warning has to be conveyed.

“Though we do not want any disaster to fall upon us, we cannot deny the fact that nature is unpredictable and we need to be prepared. Arunachal Pradesh, owing to its strategic geographical location, has to face the situation every monsoon,” he said.

The chief minister directed the Finance Department to coordinate with the SDMA and ease the release of relief funds for those affected by disasters.

“At least four months of monsoon lies ahead. Let’s be fully prepared,” Khandu said.

Advisor to Disaster Management Tanpho Wangnaw, who has been visiting the vulnerable areas and landslide spots in the state capital, blamed rampant and illegal earth-cutting as the major cause for landslides.

Advocating strict action against persons indulging in illegal earth-cutting, Wangnaw also raised concern over the failure of officials, especially in the districts, in submitting reports on disasters and losses incurred.

Till Wednesday, 3,000 people in 33 villages in 14 districts have been affected by the heavy rains that triggered landslides, while seven people died due to landslides. Two persons are also reported missing, officials said. PTI UPL UPL SOM SOM

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