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Hundreds of homes destroyed in cyclonic storm in West Garo Hills

1500 households in 40 villages hit hard

TURA: An early morning thunderstorm bearing the hallmarks of a cyclone hit the West Garo Hills district destroying in its path hundreds of homes, uprooting trees and plantations causing damages to the tune of several lakh rupees.

The impact of the storm was most felt in the Rongram and Dadenggre community development block regions. The hardest hit by the storm were Edenbari, Dura Songma and Rongandi gramsevak circles under Rongram block, informed district authorities.

Selsella and Tikrikilla were also affected by the storm.

According to West Garo Hills deputy commissioner, Ram Singh, around 1500 households in as many as 40 villages under Rongram, Tikrikilla, Dadenggre and Selsella have been affected by the storm.

The storm destroyed houses and other property, plantations, crops and domestic animals, roads were blocked by fallen trees and electricity poles and wires were damaged. A Reliance Jio mobile tower under Dadenggre block region was completely brought down by the force of the winds during the cyclonic storm.

As many as 24 houses were totally damaged in  Edenbari village, near Tura, while in Dura Songma and Rongandi as many as 12 houses witnessed destruction in each village.

Nature’s fury was such that it did not spare anything in its path ripping apart roof tops, flattening houses and uprooting trees.

Some of the victims of the storm recall their harrowing experience as the storm began to gain in strength. A mother with three young children in Masumatagre village narrated to visiting officials how they barely made it out alive when the storm blew away their house.

The storm which began at 2 O’clock in the early morning hours began to gain in strength with each passing minute.

As hail and rain lashed the area and their roof top blown away by the storm, the family tried to seek shelter under their bed. But the relentless hail coupled with strong winds and lightning forced mother and her children to flee to her sister’s house nearby. Minutes after their departure, their home along with the bed they had previously taken shelter under was blown away.

The damage was not only to their dwelling houses but even television sets, mobile phones and other electronic gadgets were destroyed by the hail and rain that lashed the area.

While gramsevaks and other district officials have been deployed on the field to assess the damage in the four blocks, preliminary reports reveal that as many as 76 households were totally destroyed within three circles of Rongram block alone.

Some of the other affected villages are, Soragre, Babadam, Buripara, Masumatagre, Marakapara, Tebronggre, Dumitdikgre, Allagre, Chasingre, Pagugre, Tebronggre, Jendragre, Asanang, Rongwalkamgre, Chibragre, Chibra Agal, Arangggre, Mondagre, Sanchonggre and Selbalgre, to name a few.

Meghalaya Home minister James Pangsang K Sangma who represents Dadenggre constituency was also on his way from Shillong to the region to meet with the victims and assess the damage.

North Tura MLA Thomas A Sangma, on Saturday morning, visited the affected villages and met the victims of nature’s fury. He also apprised district officials to ensure speedy relief is provided for the victims of the storm.



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