Over 10,500 families hit by cyclone in state

SHILLONG/TURA: Over ten thousand households were affected and three persons injured in the cyclonic storm that also caused extensive damage to property in parts of the state over the past few days.
The state government said on Thursday that as per the initial report received from all the districts, the total number of households affected were 10,554 spread over 700 villages. Besides, around 100 school buildings and a few community halls were also damaged.
A high level meeting was convened by the Minister in-charge Revenue & Disaster Management department, Kyrmen Shylla, with other officials to take stock of the situation in each district through video conferencing with the respective Deputy Commissioners.
The cyclonic storm occurred in almost all parts of the state from April 14.
In a statement, the government said till date, three persons were injured in West Garo Hills and medical facilities were provided to them. Almost all the districts are affected but major instances of damage were reported from Garo Hills Division and a few districts of Khasi and Jaintia Hills especially West Khasi Hills, East Jaintia Hills and West Jaintia Hills.
Gratuitous relief in kind, including tarpaulins, have been distributed to families whose houses have been completely damaged. The disrupted power supply in parts of the districts of West Garo Hills, South West Khasi Hills and Ri-Bhoi has been restored partially and the electricity department (MePDCL) is making all efforts to restore it completely.
The Chief Secretary, P S Thangkhiew, who was present in the meeting, asked all the deputy commissioners to submit detailed assessment reports at the earliest and also instructed them to have contingency plans ready to meet exigencies and mitigate the grievances of the affected people.
The East Khasi Hills Disaster Management Authority has alerted Meghalaya Fire and Emergency Service, Police, Forest department, MeECL and PWD since the state is prone to natural calamities.
Shillong too witnessed a storm and a few trees were uprooted and power lines snapped. East Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner Abhishek Bhagotia said just before the elections, the East Khasi Hills was the only district where a mock drill on disaster management was conducted with NDRF.
He also said all the block development officers are on alert and prepared to attend to any eventuality.
A separate review meeting was held at Tura circuit house to assess the situation and the rehabilitation process being taken up for the affected people.
Adviser to the chief minister and MLA of North Tura, Thomas A Sangma, held a meeting with the district officials and heads of various departments to review the relief work.
He was briefed by West Garo Hills Deputy Commissioner, Ram Singh, Tura Municipal Board Chairman, J D Sangma, heads of government departments and other district officials.
While directing the officials to assess the extent of damage caused by the thunderstorm and the measures undertaken to restore normalcy to the affected people of the region, he also urged the district administration to hasten the preparation of all necessary reports and dispatch the same to the government so that the required relief funds can be obtained at the earliest.
The deputy commissioner, in his brief report, informed that around 161 villages, including 594 households, seven public properties and about 1975 people have been affected by the cyclonic storm that hit the region recently and the number of affected houses and population is expected to increase as the assessment is still in process.
Further, the deputy commissioner also highlighted the outstanding liabilities of the district with regard to relief funds of previous years and appealed for further at the earliest so as to assist the affected people.
Additional Chief Engineer, MeECL, Tura informed that electricity poles and wires were badly damaged in almost all the districts of Garo Hills and that restoration work is in progress and added that the main 33 KV lines are restored, 11 KV lines partially restored and few LT lines which were badly damaged will need some time to restore.
He added that the power lines across the Phulbari region sustained major damage and would take time for major restoration works to be completed.
Additional Chief Engineer, PWD (Roads) Gromyko K Marak informed that though there were a few uprooted and fallen trees on the roads, all had been cleared and no major damage has been reported so far.
As per the report of the District Medical and Health Officer, Tura M R Sangma only three persons from Dadenggre area received minor injuries and there were no casualties so far from other districts, he added. There was no report of damage or loss of livestock in the region.

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