SHILLONG, Sept 23 � In a tragic incident, eight persons, including a pregnant woman, from two families, died this morning when their houses collapsed in a massive landslide in Mawbah under Mawprem area here.
The landslide was triggered by incessant rains since Friday and the houses which were just below a hillock were crushed by the landslide burying the people alive.
The victims have been identified as Santosh Sharma (24), Lal Babu Sharma (35), Mahindar Sharma (40), Kamlesh Kumar Sharma (19), Nagnazar Sharma (45), Sobita Kuri (65), Rajesh Kuri (32) and Puja Kuri (22), police sources said.
According to police, the incident occurred in the wee hours at about 3 am due to incessant rainfall for the past five days. One of the victims was expected to deliver a baby in the next two days, a family member said.
A massive operation was launched at 7 am this morning by the district administration to retrieve the bodies from the debris. It took the rescue team eight hours to retrieve all the bodies that were buried under the debris.
The district authorities are now assessing the houses in the area, which are similarly located in vulnerable areas. Police said that all residents near hillocks have been asked to take precaution and temporarily shift to safer locations.
There have been landslides and flooding in several other parts of the city. In low-lying Polo area, houses have been inundated due to the rainfall. The rainfall has also put the traffic out of gear and there has been massive traffic snarls throughout the city and also on the National Highways 40 and 44.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has circulated a notice to the NE State Governments and asked to take precautionary measures after the India Meteorological Department (IMD) forecast heavy rains in the region in the next two days.