Cyclone ravages West Khasi Hills

Three dead, 14 villages destroyed; Govt yet to initiate relief measures

From Our Correspondent

NONGSTOIN: A devastating cyclone hit Mawshynrut area of West Khasi Hills District on Wednesday night ravaging 14 villages and killing 3 persons and injuring over 51.

50 of the injured persons were admitted to Riangdo CHC while one was admitted to the Nongstoin Civil Hospital.

The cyclone which first hit Umdang village uprooted trees and electric poles and pulled apart houses and damaged several vehicles.

The 14 villages affected by the cyclone included Umdang, Nongdaju, Mawlaidong, Nongkyna, Porshiah, Tum Tum, Banglapluh, Proin, Porla-A, Porla-B, Mawthylliang, Mawsyrpat, Sienduli-I and Sienduli-II.

Porla and Umdang villages have sustained major damages with every single house being damaged.

The victims were identified as Khriantiris Lyngkhoi (75) and Hundashisha Nongsiej (2) from Porla and Kaius Lyngkhoi (35) from Banglapluh.

Villagers informed that when the storm began its devastation, they sought refuge in the nearby churches and school buildings.

The Forest Department has estimated that the loss caused to the forest area was about Rs 5 crore. However, the loss caused to the properties of the victims is yet to be ascertained but rough estimates say that the figure could be over Rs 40 crore. Six schools were also completely damaged in the cyclone.

So far there have been no relief measures from the State Government, the villagers alleged, saying that the only relief came from the KSU and FKJGP, who provided rice and money to the affected families.

Over 200 persons have been rendered homeless with no clue on how and where they would take shelter if the storm hits again.

West Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner S Kharlyngdoh visited the cyclone hit areas on Thursday to assess the damage and prepare a report to be sent to the Government.

He informed that Rs 1.50 lakh each would be given to the families of the deceased and necessary assistance would be given to those injured. “Those people whose houses have been damaged will be provided with IAY schemes to rebuild their houses,” he added.

Meanwhile, Mawshynrut MLA Witting Mawsor and Rambrai Jyrngam legislator KP Pangniang rushed to Mawshynrut from Shillong after the Assembly session on Thursday.

Mawsor told media persons that he would bring up the issue on the floor of the House on Friday and would appeal to the Government to provide generous relief fund.