26 May 2019: Tripura: Thunderstorms, heavy rains wreak havoc; over 700 become homeless
Since Friday, heavy rains and thunderstorms have wreaked havoc in the northeastern state of Tripura, forcing 739 people to leave their homes and take shelter in relief camps.
The worst affected districts are North Tripura, Unakoti and Dhalai, said an official from the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC).
Amid the flood-like situation, 40 rescue boats were deployed to rescue people from submerged areas.
Havoc: 1,039 houses have been damaged, rescue operations underway
The heavy gust of winds uprooted trees. As per reports, nearly 1,039 houses were damaged with Dhalai district being the worst affected.
Out of 739 homeless, 358 belonged to Unakoti district and 381 stayed in North Tripura.
"The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Tripura State Rifles (TSR) have also joined the rescue operations," the head of State Disaster Management Authority, Sarat Das said.
Water level: Water in one river crossed extreme danger level, then receded
Due to heavy showers, the water level in River Manu crossed the extreme danger level on Saturday. River Kakti and River Juri also swelled and the water level came close to the danger level.
However, after the showers slowed down, water receded from all rivers.
As the situation improved, one relief camp which was opened at Deocherra in Panisagar of North Tripura was closed.
Warnings: The danger is not over yet as MeT issued warnings
However, the MeT department said the weather condition won't return to normalcy any time soon. The department has issued thunderstorm warnings.
The next 24 hours are extremely critical as thunderstorms, along with heavy winds, are expected to hit all districts of the state.
The speed of the winds could be somewhere between 30 and 40 kmph, the MeT department said.
Details: In 2018, nearly 40,000 people had to leave their homes
Earlier this month, 382 houses were damaged after 'Kaalboisakhi' or seasonal Norwesters hit Tripura.
Last year, heavy rains and thunderstorms rendered nearly 40,000 homeless and they sought protection in relief camps.
The massive devastation occurred after rivers Howrah, Khowai, Gomati and Katakhal crossed danger levels. Later, the state government announced the construction of small dams to check water levels.