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Rains, hailstones hit Meghalaya hard

SHILLONG: Properties worth several lakh were destroyed when a ravaging rains and hailstones lashed many parts of Meghalaya on Friday.

The worst hit areas fall in West and East Khasi districts, Jaintia and East Garo Hills districts where hundreds of houses have been swept away rendering over 1000 people homeless.

Road remained blocked by uprooted trees and electric and telephone posts under the impact of the storm that lashed the state for nearly half an hour in the afternoon. Apart from disrupting the surface communication, power services came to a grinding halt even 24 hours after the calamity.

According to preliminary report, over 50 villages in different parts have been affected due to severe hailstorm. The government is making assessment on the extent of damages to houses, crops, livestock and other properties.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma has directed the authorities to provide immediate temporary relief to the affected villages.

He passed the directive as he convened an emergency meeting with his cabinet colleagues in presence of Chief Secretary, additional chief secretary for disaster management and other senior officials on Saturday.

Even many parts of the capital city of Shillong plunged into darkness since it would take time to restore the normal electricty services.