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12 dead in Meghalaya floods


Shillong, Sep 22 :

At least 12 people, including five children, have been killed in floods and landslides triggered by incessant rain in the Garo Hills region of Meghalaya, an official said Monday.

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“As of now, 12 people have been confirmed dead in various parts of Garo Hills. About 20 more people are feared dead in floods and landslides in other districts of Garo Hills,” West Garo Hills district magistrate Pravin Bakshi told IANS.

“Seven people, including five children, were killed in South West Garo Hills district, while five people died in North Garo Hills district,” he said.

Bakshi said more than a lakh people have been displaced in the plain areas in Garo Hills region after the swollen Brahmaputra and Jingiram rivers submerged over 200 villages.

The Jingiram, a major river in Garo Hills, caused havoc due to the sudden back flow of the Brahmaputra.

Six bridges were washed away, cutting several important locations in the region.

Bakshi said relief camps have been set up to accommodate the displaced people.

“Boats have been requisitioned to rescue people marooned in the flooded areas. A team of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is on its way from Guwahati in Assam to assist the emergency crews in the rescue operations,” he said.

He also said the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) was contemplating airlifting of the affected people if the need arises.

The public health engineering and family welfare departments have been asked to arrange for drinking water and proper sanitation.

Former Lok Sabha speaker and now member from Tura, Purno Sangma, and the lone Rajya Sabha member from Meghalaya, Wansuk Syiem, have both sanctioned Rs.25 lakh each for emergency relief.

Chief Minister Mukul Sangma would conduct an aerial survey Tuesday of the affected areas.