GUWAHATI: Three people were killed while two others were reported missing after landslides, triggered by incessant rains for the past few days, struck a Meghalaya village on Saturday.
The incident occurred at Tharia, some 20 km downhill of state capital Shillong, in Ri Bhoi district at around 4:30 am.
The tragedy struck the victims, who were from Assam and Nepal, while they were asleep. The landslides wiped away their houses. Some labourers of an industrial unit were also staying there along with their family members.
According to officials, the deceased are Laba Mahanta, Bobi Mahanta and Shanti Lama. Others, Kristina Lama and her daughter Rina Lama, reported missing, were feared trapped under loads of mud. At least people who were injured have been admitted to three hospitals in Shillong.
Ri Bhoi deputy commissioner (district magistrate), CP Gotmare, told The New Indian Express that a magisterial inquiry had been ordered into the incident.
“Three persons have been confirmed dead while two others were reported missing. Some labourers were staying there along with family members. We’ve to find out if they were encroaching upon the area because the houses are close to a river. In September last year, we had carried out a drive against encroachment and evicted some labourers,” he said.
The magisterial inquiry would be headed by ADM Kum D Phawa, he said.
Meanwhile, rescue works, which had been suspended earlier in the day due to heavy rains, were resumed. Personnel of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and the Fire Brigade were carrying out the rescue operations.
The Northeast has battered by incessant rains for the past week. Assam, Meghalaya and Tripura recorded heavy to very heavy rainfall in the past 24 hours. Several localities of Guwahati have been flooded following Friday night’s heavy rains.