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Garo Hills flood claims 3; two go missing

SHILLONG: Three people – a young woman and two minors, drowned and two others were missing in the flood-hit areas of western Garo Hills on Saturday, even as thousands of people are living in makeshift shelters.
The flood waters, which have affected the normal life of over one lakh people in 258 villages, have however started to recede in some of the affected areas, West Garo Hills Deputy Commissioner Pravin Bakshi said on Saturday.
“Two minors – 14-year-old boy Ashraful Islam and eight-year-old girl Rabia Khatun – and 19-year-old Sahida Bibi died due to drowning in the flood waters,” he said, adding two people are reportedly missing, and efforts are on to trace them.
According to police, Khatun (8) of Nayagaon, Old Bhaitbari under Phulbari got drowned at Nayagaon village.
The body of Islam, who reportedly fell down from a culvert, was recovered from Bhaitbari under Phulbari.
Bakshi said that the post-mortem report of Islam will tell the actual cause of his death.
A total number of 1,21,535 people in 258 villages were affected after the swollen Brahmaputra and Jingiram rivers submerged many villages under Phulbari, Rajabala, Singimari, Paham, Bhaitbari and Hallidayganj areas.
The Jingiram, one of the major rivers in Garo Hills, caused havoc after a major embankment was breached. The backflow of water in the Brahmaputra in Assam aggravated the floods.
On Saturday,    Food and Civil Supply Minister Clement Marak along with Speaker AT Mondal and Parliamentary Secretary     Ashahel Shira    visited the relief camps and flood affected areas.
According to Bakshi,  the issues with gratuitous relief has been resolved and  ration distribution will start from Sunday .
Health authorities in the Garo Hills , meanwhile, said that they feared an epidemic if precautions are not taken after floodwaters recede.
“We are apprehending that many water-borne diseases might break out in the flood-hit areas once the water-level  starts receding in the next 10 to 15 days,” a health official said.
The medical department has also announced precautionary measures to check the outbreak of diseases.
Public Health Engineering (PHE) officials have distributed chlorine tablets and bleaching powder among the people to prevent any outbreak of water-borne diseases. (With inputs from agencies)

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