Heavy rain, thunder and hail storms that swept across much of Mizoram since last Thursday have destroyed close to 900 houses in seven of the state’s eight districts while at least four major power transmission towers have been damaged.
In neighbouring Tripura, storms have damaged as many as 200 houses, uprooted hundreds of trees and telephone and electricity poles and triggered landslides on NH-44, the state’s main lifeline.
“Even by just looking at the numbers, we can see the damage done has been very severe,” said P C Lallawmsanga, principal secretary of the state’s Disaster Management and Rehabilitation (DM&R) department.
The most recent state-wide report available with the department shows at least 890 houses across the state have been damaged by storms in the past five days.
The worst hit appears to be Serchhip district, where the district administration has reported damages to at least 383 houses in half a dozen villages and towns.
Bungtlang village, 23 kms south of the district headquarters, saw the destruction of at least 101 houses, according to government records.
“It was Thursday afternoon, we knew a storm was headed our way. It started with some rain and wind, then, the hail-storm began. They started small, but later they were the size of children’s fists, but definitely larger than eggs. It was over in 10 minutes, but more than a hundred houses have been damaged. Some neighbourhoods could not properly conduct Good Friday services, and we were still distributing tarpaulin sheets to some families even on Monday,” said J Lalawmpuia, a resident and community leader.
Thenzawl town, spread across a picturesque meadow-valley 27 kms west of Serchhip town, saw at least 91 houses damaged. Serchhip itself saw 77 houses damaged.
Further south in Lunglei district, at least 149 houses were reported damaged. DM&R records show the village of Dengsur alone saw 125 houses damaged by hails as large as those that rained over Bungtlang. Cabinet Minister Zodintluanga, whose constituency covers the village, had on Friday visited Dengsur and nearby South Khawlek, where at least 30 houses were also damaged.
Damages were also widespread in other districts, such as in Champhai (58 houses), Kolasib (80 on Thursday and Friday, 25 more on Saturday), Mamit (107) and in Aizawl district (113) where 25 boats on the Tlawng river were also reported to have been sunk by the storm.
The Power and Electricity department also reported that four power transmission towers collapsed in the state’s western regions, mostly in Mamit district, and a handful of villages and towns on several ridges would be without power for a few days.
No serious casualties have fortunately been reported from anywhere, however.
In neighbouring Tripura, the storms triggered several landslides on NH-44, the state’s main lifeline, and hundreds of trucks have been stranded on either side of the border with Assam. The traffic jam continued even on Monday, also affecting the flow of vehicles between Tripura and Mizoram.
At least 200 houses were also reportedly damaged across the state, and at least seven people have been hospitalised after sustaining injuries during the storms, which also affected crops across the state.
There was also erratic electricity supply over the weekend in most parts of the state since the storm downed transmission lines.