Merinews.com, 26 April 2010, http://www.merinews.com/article/cyclone-hits-mizoram-1-killed-hundreds-left-homeless/15805214.shtml
By Paritosh Chakma
ANOTHER CYCLONE has hit the western Mizoram and this time too it hit hard the common people, damaging hundreds of houses and other government buildings. In the early morning of Wednesday (April 21), when the villagers were fast asleep, high velocity wind swept across destroying 236 houses including 138 fully and 98 partially at Digilibagh village under Lunglei district of Mizoram.
One Chakma tribal identified as Chandra Kanta Chakma (53 years), son of Udongya Chakma died on the spot after he was reportedly hit by flying CGI sheets. Local sources informed that three persons have been seriously injured and hospitalised at nearby Demagiri (Tlabung) hospital.
They have been identified as Lokki Loda Chakma (52 years), wife of Porok Dhan Chakma; Porok Dhan Chakma (55 years), son of Muni Chakma, and Lokki Math (50 years), son of Jedhera Chakma. At least three others including two girl children suffered minor injuries. They have been identified as Daya Devi Chakma (5 years), daughter of Atul Chandro Chakma, Prisha Chakma (7 years), daughter of Lalmalswami Chakma and Nakki Chakma (22 years), daughter of Dharak Chandro Chakma.
A number of government buildings have been damaged at Digilibagh village. These include Delbachhua Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) School, Health sub centre and the community hall. Sugurobasora sub-village and Ugudosury sub-village under Digilibagh Village Council have also been affected where 11 houses and 15 houses were damaged respectively. However, no casualty has been reported from these two sub-villages.
On April 24, 2010, a five-member relief team from the Central Young Chakma Association (CYCA) visited the Digilibagh village and distributed Rs 50,000 to the cyclone victims.
The cyclone has once again brought to the sharp focus the lackluster response of the Mizoram Disaster Management and Rehabilitation authorities. When similar cyclone wrecked havoc at Silsury and Hvaha villages under Mamit district on March 30, 2010, the affected Chakma villagers have been left to fend for themselves and till date the education and healthcare facilities in these villages have not been restored.
This time too, little relief has been provided to the victims at Digilibagh village and its neighbourhood sub villages. All that has been done is the visit of Lunglei Additional Deputy Commissioner who reportedly provided a relief of Rs 10,000 to the deceased’s family of Chandra Kanta Chakma, Rs 1000 each to the three hospitalised persons and Rs 400 each the three persons who suffered minor injuries.
According to the local sources, the villagers are facing the hostile weather in temporary shelters which have been built with the help of Young Chakma Association, a community voluntary organisation. No step has been taken to immediately restore the education and health facilities in the affected villages. Ironically, Digilibagh village and Sugurobasora and Ugudosury sub-villages under Digilibagh Village Council fall under the constituency of the incumbent Minister of Disaster Management and Rehabilitation Nihar Kanti Chakma. Yet, Chakma has failed to visit the affected areas to take stock of the situation.
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