Tuesday, December 5, 2023

4 dead in SGH as Garo Hills region reels under flood, landslides


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Tura, June 17: At least four persons have lost their lives South Garo Hills district of Meghalaya in the aftermath of one of the worst spells of rains to have ever hit the Garo Hills region. Further the district also witnessed a communication breakdown with many of the strategic bridges that connected parts of the district also being washed away in the flash floods that followed the heavy rainfall

South Garo Hills

The worst affected district this time with at least four confirmed deaths till the time of filing of this report. Major areas including the district headquarter Baghmara as well as Rongara were reeling under flood waters. The NH – 62 remains cut off after three major bridges, one at Karukol another at Rongdik as well as the main bridge connecting Rongara were washed away.

Videos uploaded by residents showed water on the Simsang River at Baghmara almost touching the bridge, a height of more than 10 metres showing the devastating flood the area. Most of the low-lying areas have now gone under water, including Baghmara and Rongara.

Of the deceased, three persons, including a minor, all belonging to the same family were buried after a landslide hit the rented house they were living in, early this morning at the Bolsalgre locality in Baghmara. Search operations were carried out immediately but the three died before their bodies were recovered. The deceased have been identified as Tengkam Sangma and Gamchi Sangma and their minor son.

In another incident, another woman lost her life after being buried in a landslide in Siju in the same district. As per locals, Siju remains completely cut off after a section of the NH 62 towards Nongalbibra was washed away. Further with the washing away of the Karukol and Rongdik bridges, connectivity to Baghmara has also been lost. The area, as per locals, has seen intermittent electricity being supplied over the past month or so.

While the devastation has been major, however, details of the number of residents affected is yet to be given as the administration has been busy with rescue operations. With the forecast for more thunderstorms in the coming days, the situation looks grim.

East Garo Hills

One of the lesser affected districts with only reports of a few road blockages due to landslides. Early this morning the Nengkhra – Williamnagar road was blocked but was soon cleared allowing for traffic movement.

“There are no reports of any injuries or casualties and most blockages have been cleared. The Simsang River along with its tributaries are in space and a high alert has been sounded,” informed superintendent of police, EGH, Bruno A Sangma.

North Garo Hills

The district has seen almost no major impact due to the incessant rains though the administration has put everyone on high alert. Many parts of the low lying areas, including Bajengdoba, have been under flood water for the past few days though no households have been severely affected. Major rivers, including the Damring and Manda Rivers have been flowing close to the danger level since the past few days.

West Garo Hills

While there was no loss of life or injury in the district, the district has been the second worst affected in the region.

Tura this morning saw a massive shower which led to water flowing dangerously at the Babupara area as well as Gandrak Falls.

Many parts of the district remained cut off due to the flash floods and mud slips with the PWD road from Purakhasia to Ampati via Salmanpara being blocked at Mebitpara. Further another PWD road from Purakhasia to Tura via Gambegre was also blocked due to the damage of the road at Chenggapara and Jibalgre area. The SH 12 road from Purakhasia to Ampati via Mahendraganj has been closed for heavy vehicles due to heavy soil erosion on the approach road of the Darong river bridge.

Further heavy vehicles have also been asked not to ply on the Selsella route as the Balachanda Bridge has seen major soil erosion. Many parts of Selsella remained submerged due to rain water from the hills moving down to the plains.

The situation in the plain belt (Phulbari – Bhaitbari – Rajabala) is currently being monitored as the Brahmaputra River and its tributaries are said to be flowing at close to danger levels since this morning. Most fields have already been inundated. The Ganol RIver too is currently in spate. Teams are on the ground to restore connectivity.

South West Garo Hills

Many parts of the district have seen water rise with the Tura – Garobadha road being submerged at many sections. Further the route between Ampati – Garobadha was also impacted with landslides blocking travel. The road between Mellim to other parts of the district was also inundated due to the incessant rainfall.

All rivers in the district are reportedly in spate with most low lying areas completely inundated.



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