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Rain plays havoc in WKH, flood worry looms in Garo Hills

SHILLONG/TURA/NONGSTOIN: Heavy rain for the past two days has raised concerns about landslides and floods in several districts.
While the deputy commissioner of East Khasi Hills said damages due to incessant rain were not huge, barring the collapse of a wall in Shillong, the situation in villages in West Khasi Hills and Garo Hills was worse.
There were reports of flash floods and landslides in different parts of West Khasi Hills due the torrential rain for the last four to five days.
In Nongstoin, the rain flooded several localities, from Nondein to the fish market in Tiehjyrsieh, on Friday. Several households near the Nondein river have to shift to higher areas. However, no casualty was reported.
Traffic on Kynshi and Nongstoin-Mawkyrwat roads was affected for several hours due to inundation and landslides.
A major landslide at Nongbah raised alarms about the safety of Nongstoin police station located on the top of the hillock but authorities looked unfazed.
Flood concerns are high in the plains of West and South West Garo Hills districts and the hilly areas are under the threat of landslides.
The downpour, which began 36 hours ago, led to landslips in some parts of Tura town and the biggest worry is the likelihood of flooding in the vulnerable plain areas of Phulbari, Rajabala, Chibinang, Bhaitbari and even the low lying areas of Williamnagar town and the national highway 51 in Rari-Gokul-Bajengdoba region which had witnessed devastating floods that claimed several human lives three years ago.
“Due to the continuing downpour people are staying alert in the entire plain belt region and government officials are monitoring the situation. If the rains continue through Friday night we may witness flooding,” a legislator from the region told The Shillong Times.
The Jinjiram river that flows through Phulbari, Hallidayganj and Rajabala has already merged with the Brahmaputra and continued rainfall could result in flooding of Hallidayganj town and its nearby areas, warned officials on Friday.
There is also apprehension about flood waters from the Ganol river inundating the low-lying areas of Garobadha and Mukdangra, a crucial part of the Tura-Ampati/Selsella road.
The Mukdangra stretch has many a time experienced flooding during heavy rain.
The district Disaster Management Authority has already issued a weather warning and first responders on the ground have been alerted about possible landslides and flooding.
In Nongstoin, the PWD’s road clearing work that started in the morning was slow as there was only one truck and a JCB machine.

Landslide at Nonbah taxi
stand in Nongstoin. (ST)

In the press statement issued by Deputy Commissioner Arun Kumar Kembhavi on Friday evening stated that the IMD has forecast heavy to very heavy rainfall till August 14.
“The district administration is doing its best. All the departments have been alerted. Many landslides have been reported along the national highway, state roads and elsewhere. Driving through slush-filled roads can be very dangerous and a few accidents were also reported,” the statement said.
Power supply was also disrupted due to rain and storm and Nongstoin town was in dark since Thursday night.
Relief materials have been distributed in the worst-affected villages like Risiang, Kynshi Bangla, Kynshi Mawria and Ksehkohmoit.
The list of Gram Sevaks along with their duty areas and phone numbers has been issued. Any person in need of help can reach out to the District Emergency Operations Centre at 9856863031 or send WhatsApp message to 9436394363.
Shillong College
Officials from the East Khasi Hills district administration said a portion of the guard wall of Shillong College collapsed due to heavy rainfall. No one was injured in the incident and the road has been partially cleared for smooth flow of traffic.
As there is a building located near the collapsed wall, the district administration issued a notice to the authorities of the college to be alert.
Umiam water rising
The water level of the Umiam reservoir on Friday reached 3215 ft following heavy downpour in the state.
An official said on Friday that water will have to be released if the level reaches 3218 feet.
The official added that if the rain continues the gates may have to be opened anytime on Saturday.


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