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Monsoon fury takes toll on encroachers

SHILLONG: Thousands of people who are residing close to the banks of Wahumkhrah river had to vacate their homes due to the flash floods which have occurred on account of the incessant rains that lashed the city for the past two days.

Around 700 families were reported to have been affected and about 2,000 people were partially displaced. But so far there is no report of any human casualties.

The Polo floods are a common phenomenon whenever there is heavy downpour in Shillong. This is due to the clogging of Wah Umkhrah and the decreasing width of the river due to human activities.

The localities which are usually affected from the flash floods are – Polo Market, the stretch from Fourth Furlong up to Demseiniong and other localities within the vicinity of Polo.

The residents of localities of Pynthorbah, Golflink, Lumshyiap, Langkyrding, and parts of Nongmynsong were also severely affected by flash floods.

Other affected areas included parts of Mawlai Phudmuri and Mawlai Nongpdeng.

The incomplete artificial football turf sponsored by FIFA at third division, Polo ground was also submerged under water.

Football and cricket grounds were also flooded and several vehicles in Polo area got stranded while some were nearly submerged.

When contacted, Water Resources Minister and Pynthorumkhrah MLA AL Hek has claimed that several houses were damaged and instructions have been given to respective headmen of the affected localities to shift the homeless people to safer places like community halls.

The Pynthorumkhrah legislator said 1,000 blankets and food cooked in a local hotel would be distributed to the flash flood victims under his constituency.

He also said order has been issues to the Water Resources department to assess the situation while district administration officials have also been deputed in the areas to oversee the rehabilitation work.

The flash floods on Wednesday have prompted many parents not to send their children to school while many schools have cancelled the classes due to the poor attendence.

Students and office goers returned home late on Wednesday due to the traffic congestion caused by the flash floods blocking several routes especially in Polo area.

Buddha Vidya Niketan Secondary School, Polo which was worst affected in the last monsoon fears that the incessant rain might play spoilsport again. “Rainwater has reached the verandah of the school, as of now,” said a teacher from the school.

Dwellers alongside the Wah Umkhrah are fearing a repeat of the worst ever flash floods in the area.

Some houses were also affected in Laitumkhrah due to flood besides Forest Colony, Madanriting and Cleave Colony.

Vehicles coming to Lawmali had to take the Mawlai route since the Polo route was under water while those coming from Laitumkhrah – NEEPCO towards Polo had to ply the Golf Link route since the NEEPCO – Polo road was flooded. Similarly, many vehicles plied the Mawlai route to reach Jaiaw.

Dr HG Pathak, DDGM, RMC, Guwahati while speaking to The Shillong Times said, “Widespread rainfall is forecast over entire north-eastern region with heavy to very heavy rainfall in one or two places in the next 48 hours.”

He also said Cherrapunjee, Shillong and some other places in Meghalaya will experience more rainfall this time. Parts of Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh etc. are also expected to get heavy rainfall. The present rainfall situation is likely to persist up to July 1, he said.

The rainfall recorded by the India Meteorological Department, Upper Shillong on Wednesday from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm was 84.8 mm.

The rainfall recorded from June 28, 8:30 pm to June 29, 8:30 am was 73.1 mm and that of June 28 was 89.0 mm

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