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Shillong: The incessant rains in Meghalaya have affected over 5.43 lakh people and killed 13 people and seven animals since April 1, 2022, Kyrmen Shylla, the Meghalaya minister for revenue & disaster management department, said on Monday.

Since April 1, 581 villages have been affected, Shylla added.

Eight people have been reported to be injured. The state has also witnessed extensive damage to public and private property during this period, he added.

Shylla said that necessary steps have been taken by the department concerning the natural calamities reported in different districts, adding that calamity is something that they can’t predict, but can take precautions by being alert.

Asked if any initiative has been taken for areas prone to landslides like Pynursla or others, Shylla said completely stopping movement on that route would be impossible, because such action would bring people’s life to a standstill.

Shylla informed that the deputy commissioners of concerned districts and officials are closely monitoring the flood situation, especially in the Garo Hills. He added that whenever they feel the district administration needs assistance, they support as and when needed. Shylla also informed that the government provided Rs 50 lakh to the district administration for relief.

The minister also informed that the 15th Finance Commission earmarked money specifically for disaster management. “For five years, funds have been given. The fund has been given to the department after seeing that every year, natural calamities keep happening. So with these funds, we can reach those affected families,” mentioned Shylla.

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