Rain, thunderbolts and hailstorms continue to lash Barak valley
SILCHAR, April 25: There seems to be no respite from the rains, thunderbolts and hailstorms in the three districts of Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi of Barak Valley for the last seven days. The situation has been further worsened by the ever swelling Barak and its tributaries due to heavy rains in the plains and catchment areas. Villages after villages have come under the spate of onrushing and gushing waters due to breaches in embankments. The ture’s fury has been described as the worst in living memory by people in general.
In a tragic incident, eight workers engaged in collecting stones from a quarry along the hilly river Jatinga under Borkhola police station were washed away by the ever rising water level of the river last Saturday night. They have been identified as Beauty Ghatowar (35), Lakshmi Rikiason (34), Swap Ghatowar (18), Pimi Ghatowar (16), Mo Saotal (20), Kuti Teli (19), Uttam Ghatowar (22) and Kashi Teli (17) of Moigarh under Subhang GP. It was by sheer luck and against the high tide that one of the workers Meghth Bhumij (20) could save himself by jumping into the river and swam against the heavy currents on the other side. The eyewitnesses said the labourers could not anticipate the sudden rise in the level of the river which was increasing every minute. A stage came when they found themselves sinking under the high tides and took shelter on a huge stone in the middle of the river. It was in a flash that submerged the stone and all of them were swept away in the high current of river.
Despite, all attempts by the local people and police, no trace could be found of these ill fated workers. Till the time of filing of this report, disaster rescue team pressed into service has been making all possible measures to rescue them, but nothing positive has yet come. It is believed that they might have been swept away to Bangladesh through the river Barak with which Jatinga mingles on the plains of Cachar. Dr. Rumi th, MLA of Borkhola, met the Deputy Commissioner and discussed with him the rescue measures. She met the members of the families in distress and comforted them with words of sympathy and all possible helps from her to them. At the time of disaster, 16 trucks were engaged in collecting stones from the Bandarkhal quarry which remain submerged.
Many villages along Jatinga river in Borkhola have been flooded, affecting the normal life of villagers. Madhura river origiting from Borail hills has also been in spate and its overflowing water has inundated VIP road near Udharbond to Airport, disrupting the traffic movement. Many areas of Udharbond were hit by hailstorm last night that sent panic among people. Rukkini river has breached the embankment near Jhulanpul in Kabuganj under Dholai constituency, taking a number of villages in its grip.
The valley has been virtually cut off by fragile surface communications. Incessant rains have led to landslips on roads and highways. NH 37 linking Manipur has also been inundated near Ghantaghar of Fulertal in Lakhipur sub division by the overflowing Chiri river. Hundreds of vehicles on both sides of the bridge have been stranded. Silchar-Haflong road and NH 54 near Panchgram which links NH 6 to Shillong and Guwahati have also been badly affected. Heavy landslides near Harangajao-Miangcro on Silchar-Haflong road took a 12 wheeler lorry loaded with rods in its spate which overturned with three workers, killing one on the spot. Among the two others, one is still missing and another rescued. According to information, 150 metres of road have been blocked by landslides.
The scerio is no different in the other two districts of Hailakandi and Karimganj where the ture’s fury has also been unkind. The swelling Longai river has eroded embankments at several places in South Karimganj. 20 villages have been worst affected, damaging several houses. People have become shelterless and moved to safer places. Villages in Algapur block have also been hit by the stormy weather, making normal life difficult.