13 killed in Meghalaya downpour, landslides

Shillong, (IANS) At least 13 people have lost their lives following incessant heavy rain, landslides and lighting across Meghalaya, the government said on Tuesday.

Besides, 22 villages with around 9,000 people in the Zikzak block in South West Garo Hills district have been affected by floods. However, no loss of life has been reported due to floods.

An official communique said five people, including four from a family, were killed after being hit by a landslide in Tura, the district headquarters of West Garo Hills.

Three people were killed in East Khasi Hills district, and four in East Jaintia Hills during the past week, the communique said.

In an incident, one person was killed and five were injured due to a lightning strike in South West Garo Hills district.

The meteorological department has warned more heavy rain could be expected in the Garo hills districts in western Meghalaya.

Chief Minister Mukul Sangma on Tuesday held an emergency meeting at the Tura Circuit House with the district administration olfficials and State Disaster Response Team to review the situation.

Sangma declared that an ex-gratia compensation of Rs.4 lakh each should be provided to the next of kin of those killed.

The chief minister also visited the landslide spot in Tura and assured the people of full support from the government.

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