Shillong: The Meghalaya government on Monday called out the Indian Air Force to airlift essential food supplies and medicines to be delivered to the worst rain-hit South Garo Hills district and parts of South West Khasi Hills district which have been affected due to massive landslides.
Several villages in South Garo Hills district and South West Khasi Hills district, bordering Bangladesh, remained completely cut off from the rest of the state for the last four days due to massive landslides. The two main bridges over the Simsang River at Karukol and Rongara connecting Baghmara were also completely washed away.
“We have requested the Indian Air Force to airlift essential food supplies and medicines up to Mahesh Khola area for immediate relief in the affected villages in South Garo Hills and parts of South West Khasi Hills tomorrow (Tuesday) subject to weather clearance,” a senior government official told UNI.
Meanwhile, the death toll due to rain-related reasons has increased to 34 in the state, even as the rescuers are continuing with the search and rescue operations to try and retrieve at least three persons, who were reported to have been buried alive under debris following a landslide at Rangsa Awe village in South Garo Hills.
Meanwhile, the National Highway-6 was re-opened for traffic after the debris from the flash flood was cleared around the Sonapur Tunnel in East Jaintia Hills District on Monday evening.
East Jaintia Hills Deputy Commissioner Abhilash Baranwal informed that the Sonapur Tunnel has been re-opened for two-way traffic.
“The debris has been cleared. The traffic is flowing smoothly across NH-6 barring a few places where the road has been damaged and hence only one-lane traffic is being allowed,” he said and urged all to avoid “unnecessary travels across this route for now” so that vehicles ferrying essential commodities heading towards Barak Valley in Assam and adjoining states can be expedited.
On the other hand, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Monday visited families of those killed in the recent landslides at Dangar and Kenmysaw under Mawsynram Block in East Khasi Hills district and handed over the sanction letters for financial assistance being released to the next of kin of the deceased.
In a landslide at Dangar, five people including four children had lost their lives. At Kynmynsaw village, a married couple was killed in landslides, leaving behind three orphans.
During his visit to the area, the CM met village leaders and assured all assistance to the affected people.
He also assured that the state government was working to ensure that electricity and mobile connectivity was restored in the rain-ravaged areas.