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Unexplained tremors every 15 mins force over 1,000 near Assam’s Baghjan to leave their homes

Snippets from the vibrant Northeast that capture politics, culture, society and more in the eight states.

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New Delhi: A series of unexplained tremors in and around the Baghjan gas well, which caught fire on 9 June, have forced over 1,000 people to shift out of their homes.

Around 640 families of Natungaon, Gotong and Kaliapani areas near Baghjan in Assam’s Tinsukia district were shifted out Thursday night to three relief camps.

Mulapi Gohain, a resident of Natungaon, reportedly said the tremors felt like earthquakes, occurring every 15 to 20 minutes.

“The tremors have been happening intermittently now. Nearly 80 per cent of our villagers are staying in relief camps, the people in their homes are scared to live there because of the tremors, which could be of 5.0 magnitude,” reportedly said Hiren Senapati, president of eco-development committee of Natun Rongagora village, which is around 2.5 km from the Baghjan well.

Experts from the North East Institute of Science and Technology (NEIST), meanwhile, have been trying to ascertain the cause of these tremors. In a statement, the Oil India Limited (OIL) has said, “There were some reports of tremors in nearby villages. OIL has contacted NEIST to carry out a study to see if there is any induced seismicity due to the blowout.”

Also read: Assam’s oil well leak failed to create viral visuals like Vizag gas leak did

Funeral for Mizoram Covid warrior wins hearts with songs, bullets

Residents of Sangau, a tiny hamlet in the Lawngtlai district of Mizoram, recently came together to give a grand funeral by singing songs and firing a volley of bullets for Carolyn H.Lalvenmawii, who died after assisting her village-level Covid-19 task force. The cause of her death is, however, not known yet.

A video of the funeral has gone viral, winning praises from Chief Minister Zoramthanga too.

Sangau attracts a lot of visitors due to the presence of Phawngpui, the highest mountain peak in Mizoram. Following the pandemic, the state government tasked villagers with keeping visitors and foreigners out of the state.

Lalvenmawii had assisted her village administration in patrolling the borders.

Also read: ‘They all spoke in Hindi’: When Mizoram CM hit translation hurdle at meeting with PM Modi

In Sikkim, stand-up comedians bring cheer to quarantine centre 

The Information and Public Relations (IPR) Department of Sikkim recently collaborated with a quartet of stand-up comedians, Hasais Katle, for an hour-long session at a quarantine facility in the state.

Biswas Timshina of Hasais Katle has been quoted as saying, “The IPR department had called me … and were just looking for an infotainment sort of thing, just to uplift their spirits because it’s not the best of times, especially for them because of the constant fear and all.”

With an audience from all age groups, Timshina explained how he had to expand his range of comedy which is otherwise aimed at the youth.

He also played some parody songs since it wasn’t an “ideal set-up for stand-up”, which is done in a smaller space and with the audience’s attention right there.

Also read: Tanmay Bhat, Kaneez Surka to Vir Das: How stand-up comics are helping fund Covid-19 fight

Manipur, Meghalaya among India’s top states for food safety in 2019-2020

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), an autonomous body under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, has declared Goa, Manipur and Meghalaya among India’s top three smaller states for ensuring food security in the 2019-2020 fiscal.

The names were released by the FSSAI earlier this week and a webinar was also held to address food and health concerns during the pandemic.

Among the larger states, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra were placed at the top. In the union territories list, Chandigarh, Delhi and Andaman Islands bagged the top places.

The states were judged on various parameters, including human resources and institutional data, compliance, food testing (infrastructure and surveillance), training and capacity building, and consumer empowerment.

Also read: Manipur is upset its traditional leirum phee is being sold as ‘Modi gamcha’ in UP

Manipur woman auto driver receives Rs 1 lakh reward for dropping recovered Covid patient home  

Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh recently handed over Rs 1,10,000 to Laibi Oinam, an auto driver who volunteered to drop a recovered Covid-19 patient from the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences in Imphal to Kamjong, a distance of around 140 km, after ambulance services refused to take the patient home on the intervening night of 31 May and 1 June.

Oinam drove for around eight hours at night to drop the patient home.

The award money was sponsored by a few entrepreneurs from Manipur, besides Manipuri diaspora in the US, the UK, Canada and Singapore.

Oinam is Manipur’s first woman auto driver. A documentary based on her life, titled Auto Driver, had won the best social issue film in the non-feature category at the 63rd National Film Awards in 2015 and Best Short Documentary in the Audience Choice category at the 2017 Women’s Voices Now Film Festival.

Also read: Manipur principal travels 120 km, trekking via forests, to conduct parent-teacher meetings


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