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5 killed in landslides as rains lash Tura

By Correspondent

TURA, June 16 � Five people, including four from one family, lost their lives after being hit by landslides in the town of Tura. Persistent rains since 1 pm last night had caused two small slides resulting in the death of the five after their houses went under the mud. Both incidents happened around the same time at about 6.30 am this morning, when the victims were asleep.

Fire and emergency services were pressed into action immediately after the news broke out and the bodies were finally recovered at about 9.45 am.

Tragically, four members of a single family were killed, including a mother and her three children. Pinky Chetri (35), Vijay Chetri (19), Priya Chetri (15) and Rohan Chetri (11) were buried under mud following mudslide, which was caused by incessant rains. Locals say that Vijay Chetri died in trying to save his sister Priya after she was stuck under mud. They were killed in the Nakham Bazar locality of Tura.

The family had earlier lost their father a few years ago and is only survived by the mother�s elder sister and their grandfather. They had only come to the fateful house on rent a few months ago before the incident today.

�Vijay was almost out of the house when he heard his sister call for help. He did not mind his life and went to rescue her. Unfortunately at the same time there was another mudslip after which he too was buried in the mud,� said a neighbour of the deceased family. Chote Lal Prasad (70) of Sepoy Colony, a former policeman, who suffered injuries due to a mudslide, died at the Tura Civil Hospital.

Both families did not want post mortems to be conducted as the cause of death was a natural disaster.

Meanwhile, Pravin Bakshi, DC of West Garo Hills, confirmed the deaths while also announcing an amount of Rs 4 lakh as compensation to the next of kin for each death.

�We have issued a flood and rain warning over the past week and are bracing for more rains. Landslides too will be another issue given the weather. We have asked for advisories to be sent out and the police and home guards team will be working to ensure evacuation of people to safer places,� said Bakshi.

Currently the situation looks grim as more rains are forecast for the coming days. East Garo Hills has already issued a warning after Simsang River came close to breaching the flood water mark. Residents have been advised to move to higher ground or to designated relief camps in view of the rains. One of the bridges connecting Williamnagar to Tura was washed away leading to an early road block which was later opened but only for light traffic.

South Garo Hills also remains cut off after the wooden bridges along NH62 gave way a few days ago while in North Garo Hills, even a little rain has been leading to inundation.

Meghalaya Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma too met officials of West Garo Hills district administration to take stock of the situation and review preparedness even as the raw wounds of last year�s flood which claimed over 70 lives, return to haunt the region.

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5 killed in landslides as rains lash Tura

TURA, June 16 � Five people, including four from one family, lost their lives after being hit by landslides in the town of Tura. Persistent rains since 1 pm last night had caused two small slides resulting in the death of the five after their houses went under the mud. Both incidents happened around the same time at about 6.30 am this morning, when the victims were asleep.

Fire and emergency services were pressed into action immediately after the news broke out and the bodies were finally recovered at about 9.45 am.

Tragically, four members of a single family were killed, including a mother and her three children. Pinky Chetri (35), Vijay Chetri (19), Priya Chetri (15) and Rohan Chetri (11) were buried under mud following mudslide, which was caused by incessant rains. Locals say that Vijay Chetri died in trying to save his sister Priya after she was stuck under mud. They were killed in the Nakham Bazar locality of Tura.

The family had earlier lost their father a few years ago and is only survived by the mother�s elder sister and their grandfather. They had only come to the fateful house on rent a few months ago before the incident today.

�Vijay was almost out of the house when he heard his sister call for help. He did not mind his life and went to rescue her. Unfortunately at the same time there was another mudslip after which he too was buried in the mud,� said a neighbour of the deceased family. Chote Lal Prasad (70) of Sepoy Colony, a former policeman, who suffered injuries due to a mudslide, died at the Tura Civil Hospital.

Both families did not want post mortems to be conducted as the cause of death was a natural disaster.

Meanwhile, Pravin Bakshi, DC of West Garo Hills, confirmed the deaths while also announcing an amount of Rs 4 lakh as compensation to the next of kin for each death.

�We have issued a flood and rain warning over the past week and are bracing for more rains. Landslides too will be another issue given the weather. We have asked for advisories to be sent out and the police and home guards team will be working to ensure evacuation of people to safer places,� said Bakshi.

Currently the situation looks grim as more rains are forecast for the coming days. East Garo Hills has already issued a warning after Simsang River came close to breaching the flood water mark. Residents have been advised to move to higher ground or to designated relief camps in view of the rains. One of the bridges connecting Williamnagar to Tura was washed away leading to an early road block which was later opened but only for light traffic.

South Garo Hills also remains cut off after the wooden bridges along NH62 gave way a few days ago while in North Garo Hills, even a little rain has been leading to inundation.

Meghalaya Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma too met officials of West Garo Hills district administration to take stock of the situation and review preparedness even as the raw wounds of last year�s flood which claimed over 70 lives, return to haunt the region.