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Relentless rains wreak havoc near SGH’s Siju

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From Our Correspondent

TURA, June 17: South Garo Hills bore the brunt of heavy rains that have been relentless over the past few days in Garo Hills and other adjoining areas with the road between Nongalbibra and Baghmara blocked near Siju in the district.
The same area had been severely impacted two years earlier as well as when South Garo Hills district remained cut off from the rest of the country for about 10-12 days following a similar downpour.
As per locals, rains continued throughout the night, leaving a section of the NH-62 washed away at Siju and making travel extremely dangerous.
Further, many areas around Karukol were also submerged during the day due to the surge in the water level of the Simsang River. Water almost reached the top of the Simsang Bridge in Baghmara, making for a very scary site.
“We are just hoping that there is no more rain this evening and night or we are going to be in trouble. The road has already been blocked at Siju due to it being washed away and boulders now lining the route. This is the same place where huge boulders were brought down two years ago and the lack of a culvert to allow for water to pass through is showing. We just hope things don’t get worse,” said Siju resident, Ralseng Marak.
Marak added that while the Nongalbibra road has been blocked, navigation towards Baghmara is also difficult due to mud slips that cover the route. Most vehicles were seen slipping when trying to navigate the stretch close to the Reserve in Siju.
The area is currently without supply of electricity.
Till the filing of this report, no information was available on the amount of damage the downpour has caused on the district as well as any report of casualties or injuries.
In West Garo Hills, two houses were damaged in Tura town with the residents being shifted to safer locations.
“We have been on the ready the entire day and the SDRF team has done extremely well to minimise and manage any disaster impact. There was a landslide on the AMPT road in Hallidayganj but that was cleared within two hours. All routes in the district remain clear,” informed Deputy Commissioner Jagdish Chelani.
East and North Garo Hills, too, reported no major damage, though all through SDRF teams have been kept on high alert. With more rains forecast at least until Tuesday, the region is keeping its fingers crossed.

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