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Assam gears up to tackle storm-related emergencies

GUWAHATI: The Assam government is in a state of alert to tackle emergencies in the event of natural calamities such as storms and lightning.

As many as 23 persons have died in storms and lightning across 18 districts of Assam in the past few weeks, a statement issued by the Assam State Disaster Management Authority here said on Tuesday.

Of the casualties, 13 were struck by lightning. The most affected districts out of the 18 are Golaghat, Sivasagar, Dhubri, Sonitpur and Cachar.

The Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), for its part, has taken steps for awareness on the do’s and don’ts in the event of storms and lightning. The district disaster managementauthorities (DDMAs) have also taken steps for trimming trees to avoid casualties.

“The State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) personnel are well equipped to clear roads whenever uprooted trees disrupt road communication after a severe storm,” it said.

Storms and lightning have affected almost 22,801 families this year.

The Assam government has directed deputy commissioners to release ex-gratia of Rs 4 lakh to the next of kin of each deceased person within 48 hours. The state government has already delegated the financial power to the deputy commissioners for sanction of ex-gratia.

The deputy commissioners of the storm-affected districts have also directed to immediately take steps for assessment and reporting of loss of property, so that the rehabilitation grant may be released for the fully/severely damaged pucca/kutcha houses in accordance with norms laid down by the Centre.

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