Floodwater recedes in Meghalaya, thousands in makeshift shelters

Tura (Meghalaya), July 29 (IANS) Thousands of people are living in makeshift shelters in the flood-hit areas of western Meghalaya after over 23,559 households were submerged in floodwater, officials said on Friday.

No loss of life has been reported so far.

“The floodwaters have shown signs of receding and we are hopeful that the overall situation will improve in the days to come,” West Garo Hills District Magistrate Pravin Bakshi told IANS.

A total number of 1,21,535 people in 258 villages were affected after the swollen Brahmaputra and Jingiram rivers submerged many villages under Phulbari, Rajabala, Singimari, Paham, Bhaitbari and Hallidayganj areas.

The Jingiram, one of the major rivers in Garo Hills, caused havoc after a major embankment was breached. The backflow of water in the Brahmaputra in Assam aggravated the floods.

“There have been no reports of fresh flooding though thousands are taking shelter in 26 makeshift camps and on raised platforms as their villages are under knee-deep water,” Bakshi said.

“We have received reports about pressure on embankments in Hallidayganj sector as well as fears of breach in Solartek Majhipara embankment; consolidation work has been taken up by the concerned officers of Rongai Valley Project and Public Works Department,” he said.

Bakshi said the government has placed over 100 boats at different locations for relief and rescue operations.

He said that there was a heavy loss of agriculture, and as per the reports of the agriculture department 2223.3 hectares — 693.3 hectares of sali paddy and 1,530 hectares of jute — were affected along with 258 villages.

Health authorities in the Garo Hills on Monday said they feared an epidemic if precautions are not take after floodwaters recede.

“We are apprehending that many water-borne diseases might break out in the flood-hit areas once the water-level starts receding in the next 10 to 15 days,” a health official said.

The medical department has also announced precautionary measures to check the outbreak of diseases.

Public Health Engineering (PHE) officials have distributed chlorine tablets and bleaching powder among the people to prevent any outbreak of water-borne diseases.

–IANS

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