Rain, thunderstorm hit north eastern states

Imphal April 19 (IANS) Rain and thunderstorm, as forecast by the weather office, hit most of the northeastern states from early Tuesday.

At several places tin-roofed houses, shops and other facilities were flattened by the thunderstorms. Some people who were asleep were injured by the flying corrugated iron sheets and crumbling portions of the houses.

Talking to ISTV, a local cable network, Manipur Chief Secretary Oinam Nabakishore said: “Now that it is confirmed that houses and other facilities have been destroyed, the government has sought detailed reports from the district administrations. Once the reports are with the government, it will be seen what can be done for the victims.”

“Money for the relief will be set aside from the state disaster relief fund,” Nabakishore said.

In Manipur, the thunderstorm hit many places in the early hours of the morning when most people were still asleep. The hill districts were worst affected.

Many trees fell or were uprooted along the state and the national highways, blocking traffic and causing long hours of snarls.

In the absence of the government’s prompt response, residents took the initiative and cut the fallen trees, lopped off branches and dragged these aside to enable the traffic to resume.

The meteorological department has forecast heavy downpours and strong winds for two days.

Some school authorities were planning to declare holidays. In the past few days, some schools had been damaged by the strong winds and hailstorm.

In some districts, the dismantled corrugated iron sheets were blown away. Some head of cattle also suffered injuries.

The state health department has alerted all rural hospitals to be ready to ender help round the clock.

An official told IANS there is no dearth of medicines to cope with an emergency situation.

Officials from some hill districts told IANS that it will take some time to collect the detailed information. There is no mobile telephone service or modern communication system operational in several villages.

Any update can be collected only when the villagers arrive in the district headquarters with injuries for treatment and detailed information. There were extensive destructions of houses and other constructions in Senapati district of Manipur.

Though there were reports of rain and thunderstorm from other northeastern states as well, the scale of damage could not be immediately ascertained.

Officials fear that some Nagaland villages adjacent to the Manipur districts must have been affected by the thunderstorm. However, there was no immediate official report in Kohima, the state capital.

There have been heavy rainfalls in the north eastern state since Monday night and the sky is still overcast.

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