Storms create havoc across Assam, 7 dead

Our Bureau

Margherita/Sivasagar/gaon/Silchar, April 29: Heavy rains and thunderstorms lashed various parts of the State on Thursday night, leaving at least seven people dead due to falling trees and lightning strikes, damaging countless houses and uprooting trees and electricity poles in a trail of destruction through several districts.

At Margherita, a number of houses were damaged and trees and electricity poles uprooted, disrupting power supply in many areas.

Three persons of a family were killed and four others were seriously injured when a huge tree fell on their house at Philkha Line of mdang Tea Estate. The deceased were identified as Radhika Birsa (40), Anju Tanti (17) and Mai Tanti (16).

After three sunny days, a cyclonic storm which lasted for more than an hour also hit Cachar and adjoining districts last night. Innumerable trees, transformers, electricity and telephone poles were uprooted along its devastating trail. Large hailstones accompanying the storm compounded the destruction.

Countless houses in urban and rural areas were damaged, many quite badly.

In Dudhpatil area near Silchar town, an elderly woman identified as Bibhuti Rani th (65) died as her house collapsed under the impact of a falling tree.

Bi Bhakta (50) of Alnee Tea Estate also died after a tree fell on her house. Three others, including a child, were injured.

While casualty figures are yet to be confirmed, at least six injured persons have been admitted in Silchar Medical College and Hospital and four others at the civil hospital.

Most parts of the district plunged into darkness after power supply was knocked out. According to a source in the Assam Power Distribution Company Limited (APDCL), it will take at least 5 to 6 days to restore power supply in the affected areas. The source said that 40 transformers have been damaged totally.

Rampur tea estate has been worst hit as around 100 houses there have been damaged beyond repair.

People living in town areas in Cachar district are also feeling the pinch as water taps have gone dry and reservoirs are empty. Unless power supply is restored soon, PHE treatment plants alone cannot work and provide water. A tree fell on the transformer of the PHE plant at Sadarghat, worsening the situation further.

Cachar deputy commissioner S Viswathan said that restoration work is on, with priority on emergency services like water supply and health services. The programme officer of District Disaster Magement said felled trees are being removed from roads and highways to allow traffic movement.

A devastating storm also hit various places in gaon district. Many business establishments and private homes in gaon town were damaged. Nearby areas like Morikolong, Bhojo, Chakarigaon and Koroioni also bore the brunt. Widespread disruption in power supply has been reported across the district.

Torrential rains and storms also hit Charaideo district, leaving a trail of destruction in places like mtola, Cholapothar, Lakwa, Sofrai and Lahdoigarh. A man was killed due to a lightning strike at No. 1 Gojpuria village in Moran, while four members of a family in Cholapothar were seriously injured when their hut was crushed under a falling tree.   

Reports have come in of cyclonic storms causing destruction in Jorhat district, with places like Nimatighat and Kopilamukh worst hit.

lbari district too was hit hard by thunderstorms, with a woman killed due to lightning strike at Bordoulguri in Sipajhar area. Kamrup and South Kamrup districts too were affected by storms at several places.  

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