Floods toll rises to 97 in North East

Shillong: Around 97 people have been killed in India’s North East, after flash floods and landslides hit two states in the region – Assam and Meghalaya.

With the recovery of three more bodies, the death toll due to flash flood and landslide in Meghalaya has risen to 55, state Chief Secretary P Barkos O Warjri said on Tuesday.

“The death toll due to flash flood and landslides in Meghalaya has risen to 55 after more dead bodies were recovered on Monday in the Garo Hills region,” Warjri said.

The recovery of the bodies was made after water receded in several places in the plains in West Garo Hills and North Garo Hills region, he said, adding that there could be more people who have actually died in the rising flood waters.

District officials and the police are trying to verify the identities of the bodies recovered, he said.

Meanwhile, Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma on Tuesday appealed to citizens to donate generously to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund aimed at rebuilding the lives of those affected by flood and landslide.

“We need generous contributions from all those who care to extend a helping hand. Your little contributions can make a difference,” the Chief Minister said in a public appeal on Tuesday.

Deputy Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Roytre C Laloo had said that properties including road, houses, livestock and agriculture worth about Rs 2,000 crore were damaged in the calamity.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced Rs 2 lakh compensation to the next of kin of those who died in the flash flood and landslide in the state and Rs 50,000 to those who were grievously injured.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju will be taking an aerial survey of the affected plains on Wednesday to assess the extent of the damage caused by cloudbursts last week.

The flood situation in Assam also remained serious with report of two more deaths, taking the toll to 42.

According to the daily flood report by Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), one body was recovered in the worst-hit Goalpara district. Another person died at a hospital in Kamrup Metro that mainly comprise Guwahati city, the ASDMA report said.

ASDMA said 495 villages across six districts are still reeling under flood fury with over six lakh affected in the calamities.

In Goalpara, nearly 3.7 lakh people are still affected, followed by over 1.5 lakh in Nagaon and more than 70,000 in Kamrup Rural, added.

The authorities have opened 201 relief camps and shelter homes, where 1.63 lakh people are lodged at this moment.

In Goalpara, around 73,000 people are staying at relief camps, while over 67,000 persons are living in such places in Nagaon, ASDMA said.

Over one lakh hectares of crop area have been damaged across the state. In Goalpara, over 37,000 hectares of area have been affected, hitting nearly 83,000 farm families.

In Goalpara, 81,582 houses were either fully or partially damaged due to the flood.

Meanwhile, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Monday announced that a Group of Ministers (GoM) would be constituted soon to study the causes of havoc wreaked by the current wave of flood in Goalpara and Kamrup districts and to suggest suitable and effective measures for mitigating flood risk.

Gogoi, in a statement, stated that the GoM would make a thorough study of the flood situation in this belt after consultations with experts from disaster management, water resources, hydrology and other fields and submit its final report to him for necessary steps.

The Chief Minister decided to constitute the GoM following his visit to Goalpara district on Sunday to assess the prevailing situation and to take stock of the damage.

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