Other States

31 killed in flash floods in Garo Hills

Flash floods in the districts of Garo Hills in Meghalaya, triggered by the torrential rainfall since Saturday, have claimed at least 31 lives and caused massive landslides disrupting road communications and posed hurdles in relief and rescue work. Nine more people died in the Mawbah area of Shillong on Tuesday due to a landslide.

Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma told The Hindu that the exact death toll in Garo hills districts was still not known as many houses had been washed away and the routes to some of the affected villages remained blocked due to massive landslides. “We have never seen such devastation before. Many houses have been washed away. Massive landslides have led to displacement of many families. We have not been able to make a full assessment. Relief materials have been sent on head loads to some of the worst-affected villages, which have become completely inaccessible due to massive damage to roads caused by landslides. National Highway 51, connecting Tura town that connects National Highway 37 at Paikan in Assam’s Goalpara district, has been damaged in several locations with stretches of the highway caving in or sliding down the hill slope,” he added.

Official sources said that 17 deaths due to landslides were reported in Kharkutta block in the North Garo Hills district. In West Garo Hills, seven persons were reportedly missing, while seven deaths were reported in the South West Garo Hills district. So far 28 relief camps have been opened in North Garo Hills district, about 25 camps in South West Garo Hills and eight relief camps in West Garo Hills.

The Chief Minister said that the cloud burst in the Garo Hills districts was believed to have caused such unprecedented damage.

Dr Sangma, who could not make the road journey on Monday through Assam as the communication along NH 37 remain disrupted due to flood in lower Assam’s Kamrup and Goalpara district, managed to reach Garo hills in a chopper on Tuesday. He said that earth movers had been moved into affected areas to clear the debris. The administration is focussing on providing relief to the affected people.

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Printable version | Aug 13, 2020 11:35:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/31-killed-in-flash-floods-in-garo-hills/article6440734.ece

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