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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Landslide leaves two dead at Mawlat

Speaking to The Meghalayan, an official informed that 14-year-old Rohit Kshiar from Mawlat village and 35-year-old Dilibon Tangsang, who hails from Mawkria, were victims of the natural disaster.

Shillong:

A landslide triggered by heavy rain claimed two lives at Mawlat under Mawkynrew block in East Khasi Hills district on Monday morning.

Speaking to The Meghalayan, an official informed that 14-year-old Rohit Kshiar from Mawlat village and 35-year-old Dilibon Tangsang, who hails from Mawkria, were victims of the natural disaster.

“The landslide occurred in different parts of Mawkynrew block such as Lynshing, Mawlat, Thangbnai and Khapmaw Mawjam,” the official said.

The official further said that the roads are narrow and the soil is soft.

Meanwhile, a resident from Lynshing under Mawkynrew block under said that a five-year-old boy was injured. He added, “If we were not fast in rushing out, it would have been dangerous as the houses collapsed down the steep slope.”

Four houses that were affected at Lyngshing village.

According to villagers, the incident happened when the two victims were returning home since due to landslides they could not continue their onward journey to Shillong.

Soon after the incident, residents from seven villages in the area conducted a search operation and found the bodies of the two persons.

As soon as the incident occurred, Maron Suting, chairman of Synjuk ki Rangbah Shnong Mawlat Area, informed the matter to the BDO of Mawkynrew Block LT Tariang. Suting also informed that due to the incessant rain many areas are still under danger.

Landslide was also reported at Umblai village under Mawkynrew block where two houses and two shops were reported damaged. The house belonging to Kro Kshiar was fully damaged while the second house of Phrangki Khongjoh was partially damaged. The shops of Sngur Khongjoh and Kshonti Mary Khongjoh were also affected by landslides.

One vehicle was swept away by a landslide at Thangbnai-Mawlyngot road under Mawkynrew block. No casualty was reported and the clearing of the road is in progress.

In Shillong, a portion of the road at Lawmali-Wahingdoh on Wahumkhrah caved in. Soon after the incident, authorities put up barricades to avoid further damage. Interestingly, there was no heavy rain in the city and observers believe that the damage to this portion of the road could have been because of use of JCB to clear debris from Wahumkhrah.

Meanwhile, in Rngaiñ area near Pynursla, a vehicle – ML 05 N 6426 – was fortunate that it did not fall into a gorge after it was hit by landslide.

In this area apart from widening of the Shillong-Dawki road there are many stone quarries and boulders are exported to Bangladesh.

Last week, social activist, Agnes Kharshiing asked the East Khasi Hills district administration to institute an inquiry into the stone quarrying in the Rngain area, Pynursla and blasting on the road from Laitlyngkot to Pynursla causing landslide.

Clearing of the 33rd km of Mawphlang Balat Road is also in progress after a landslide was reported in the area. Instruction has been given for immediate damage assessment and restoration work. The road has since been cleared, however, vehicles are now allowed to ply.

Tynsong holds meet

Deputy Chief Minister and in-charge PWD (Roads) Prestone Tynsong said that he held a meeting with officials of the department and asked them to issue circulars throughout the state to be alert.

“Climate change is taking place and it is unusual and it may happen at any time and place in the state,” Tynsong said.

He also denied allegations that stone quarrying was the cause of landslide in Pynursla area.
The deputy chief minister said that due to the widening of the road from Shillong to Dawk, naturally landslides will occur when there is rain.

“Landslide is right now happening in those portions where the road construction started and so it is not because of the stone quarrying,” Tynsong said.

Tynsong said that it will affect the construction of the Shillong-Dawki road even as he added that the government has instructed NHIDCL to make themselves available at any time when there is landslide to make sure that the machinery is in place.

He also said that question of recklessness on the part of the NHIDCL during the road construction does not arise.

He said that formation of soil in a hilly terrain, especially in Meghalaya which is not possible for any construction company to reduce landslide.

“It is not recklessness of the company but nature itself has created problem as far as landslide is concerned,” the deputy chief minister added.

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