Assam, Meghalaya receive 272mm excess rainfall
Assam and Meghalaya received 272mm excess rainfall than normal in the week ending June 15, triggering widespread flood and landslides that claimed five lives in the two states on Thursday.
Assam received 192.6mm rainfall, 100mm more than normal in the past one week, said the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD). The state witnessed flood in 18 districts, including Kamrup Metro.
The state capital Guwahati received 46mm rainfall in 24 hours from 8.30am on June 15, around 198 per cent more than normal, resulting in over 40 landslides, claiming four lives since Monday.
Similarly, neighbouring Meghalaya received 458.7mm rainfall, 172mm excess than normal till the week ending June 15.
The IMD said Cherrapunji received 811.6mm rainfall in 24 hours till 8.30am on Wednesday, the highest recorded in 27 years.
Arunachal Pradesh too received excess rainfall (28mm) but not as much as Assam and Meghalaya. In contrast, Nagaland (-24mm), Tripura (-33mm), Manipur (-52mm) and Mizoram (-51mm) received deficit rainfall.
Widespread landslips in Meghalaya and Assam disrupted normal life in most areas.
Three members of a family were buried alive in their house due to landslide in Laitlarem village under Meghalaya’s East Khasi Hills district on Thursday morning.
Four other family members were injured.
Landslip also claimed the lives of two brothers in Assam’s Goalpara district, taking the toll of people dying in flood and landslide (8) since mid-May in the state to 44.
Thursday also saw a stretch of National Highway 6 (NH-6) under Lumshnong Police Station area in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills district caving in and part of it washed away due to heavy rains.
The incident prompted Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma to issue a request to commuters to avoid the “route tonight (Thursday) if possible” because it is witnessing “minor flash flood”. Relief was extended to those stranded at Lumshnong due to the damage caused to some parts of NH-6.
A photograph of a truck on top of a car that fell in the caved-in stretch of the NH-6 went viral on social media.
Sangma tweeted: “With landslides caused in different locations, cutting off connectivity to some areas especially transit roads to other NE states, the DAs & Depts have been asked to take swift action in this regard especially in the supply of essential commodities to the affected areas.”
The NH-6 connects Shillong to Silchar in south Assam, from where one can go to Tripura, Manipur and Mizoram.
This route was helping people to cope with the disruption in rail connectivity in Assam’s Dima Hasao last month which suffered severe flooding and landslips.
The condition in Dima Hasao has once again become vulnerable affecting repair and restoration work because of continuous rain. The situation has compelled the district administration to ban the movement of heavy vehicles on National Highway 27 for three days from Wednesday. NH-27 is linked to Silchar and is helping in maintaining supply of essentials.
The disruption and damage caused in East Jaintia Hills also saw Sangma holding a meeting with the deputy commissioners to review the situation across the state.
Sangma also informed that regional committees headed by ministers had been put in place and all district administrations and departments had been asked to monitor the situation in the “next crucial 72 hours, coordinate and ensure all assistance”.
The flood situation in Assam saw a Congress delegation led by Assam PCC president Bhupen Kumar Borah meeting the state governor Jagdish Mukhi to submit a memorandum, urging the governor to take immediate measures for mitigating the problems caused by flood in Guwahati and provide relief to its victims.
The Assam PCC memorandum also stated: “The whole of Assam is also reeling under floods but we have not seen any relief and rehabilitation package announced by the central government nor any adequate measures taken by the state government.”
It further said: “No central leadership has also thought it important to come and gauge the flood situation in Assam while we see a beeline of central leaders in Assam during election time. Such negligence to the people of Assam is deeply disturbing and is vehemently condemned by APCC.”