TURA, Sept 22 � More than half a million people from all walks of life in the Garo Hills have been affected by the severe deluge that has threatened the whole region. While initial indications point to more than 30 deaths throughout the region, the figure is likely to increase in the coming days as people try and pick up the pieces of their lives. Six major bridges, connecting various areas were washed away in what many feel is the worst.
The worst hit district in the region is West Garo Hills where areas like Dadenggre, Phulbari, Chibinang, Tikrikilla, Selsella, Bhaitbari, Rajabala, Damalgre, Garobadha are completely inundated following heavy downpour since last night. In some areas, flood waters rose to the shoulder level within just a few hours of consistent rains.
In the Dadenggre area, one teacher was reportedly washed away, while one person went missing. The bridge connecting the SDO Civil�s office to Dadenggre was washed away in the floods and the portion remained completely cut off. Rescue operations were impossible due to the currents. Some children, who were stuck in the roof of their school hostel, however, managed to get across after the waters receded. In Chibinang also two persons are said to be missing.
In Tikrikilla, the waters reached above the head level in all the places surrounding the town. The rescue efforts were completely stalled as the Army personnel in Lakhipur were busy saving lives in Goalpara district in Assam, and the NDRF was unable to get there till the filing of this report. Meanwhile, distress calls came from various parts of the town.
Meanwhile, the Haldibari bridge was washed away in the flood waters along with the whole market. Unconfirmed reports said there were more than five casualties in the village. Most areas around Selsella remained submerged in waist deep water. The rising waters in Rajabala, Bhaitbari areas have caused panic among the people.
Incessant rains in the past three days in the North Garo Hills have left the whole district under waist high flood waters. Crisis calls were being handled in joint operations by the Army, the NDRF as well as the local police force. Many houses in the district were washed away even as people remained stranded on the top of their houses to save themselves.
In an unconfirmed report, seven people of two families are said to have been killed after a mudslide in the village of Kharkhutta. Another five are said to be dead in the village of Dainadubi though the news could not be confirmed as the region was cut off due to poor network. Rescue efforts are still on in various parts of the district. More than 300 children are also said to be stranded in a school in Bajengdoba. The rescue operations have been hit due to the poor connectivity in the area.
South West Garo Hills is the third worst hit district with seven confirmed deaths in Banduraja and Chipragaon. They included five children and two women. The district has seen unprecedented increase in the flood water levels. The BSF team came as a saviour to many families and provided a relief camp in Lukaichar where 400 villagers are now being sheltered.
In East Garo Hills, there have been no report of any casualty although a good number of houses remained submerged. The Williamnagar-Nengkhra road was completely inundated, while most parts of Williamnagar town were under flood waters following the breach of the banks of the Simsang river. The under-construction Warima bridge on the river was also under water.
In South Garo Hills district, places like Chokpot and Baghmara are among the worst hit as the Simsang river bulged disconcertingly. There were, however, no reported casualties.