Meghalaya storm: Ex-gratia announced for victims’ kin

Shillong, April 12 (IANS) The Meghalaya government Friday announced ex-gratia payment of Rs.1.5 lakh to the next of kin of each of those killed in a cyclonic storm late Wednesday.

“An ex-gratia payment of Rs.1.50 lakh each will be provided to the next of kin of those killed by the cyclonic storm,” Deputy Chief Minister R.C. Laloo announced in the assembly.

He added that Rs.30,000 has already been paid to the next of kin of the deceased.

Three people were killed and over 50 others injured when West Khasi Hills district was hit by high velocity winds accompanied with rain and lightning Wednesday night.

As many as 24 villages and 692 families were affected by the storm which uprooted hundreds of trees, telephone and electric poles, and snapped power lines in the Mawshynrut development block.

The government has set up two relief camps to accommodate the displaced people and provide them food, blankets and mosquito nets.

Laloo said the cyclonic storm also hit Umdohlun and Rangblang villages in South West Khasi Hills district, injuring 35 people and displacing 167 families.

He said relief work was on and the full extent of the damage is being assessed by the district administration.

“The government is committed to rendering all assistance to the unfortunate victims under the norms of assistance of the State Disaster Response Fund at the earliest so that assistance provided is meaningful to the affected peoples,” Laloo said.

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