Shillong, Apr 5 (PTI) The severe hailstorm that lashed Meghalaya last week and affecting over 2,500 households, has forced the government to keep Rs 20 lakh each with the district chiefs for immediate relief in case of calamity, the Assembly was informed today.

On March 30, a severe hailstorm lashed several districts of the state. The most severely affected districts were West Jaintia Hills, West Khasi Hills and East Garo Hills.

As per initial reports, a total of 237 villages have been affected in these districts. Around 2,500 households have been affected, Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Kyrmen Shylla said while replying to a call attention motion moved by Congress MLA P T Sawkmie.

While informing that there was no loss of life, the minister said, areas under Mawshynrut, Mairang, Laskein, Songsak, Rongjeng and Samanda CnRD blocks were the worst-hit.

Since assessment is still going on, the figures may change, he said.

He also said the Revenue & Disaster Management Department is in touch with the Guwahati-based Regional Meteorological Centre and the North East Space Application Centre (NESAC) at Umiam for advanced weather forecasts.

The state government has also released an amount of Rs 20 lakh to every deputy commissioners in all the districts so they can meet immediate needs for relief in case of such a calamity, he said.

Chief Minister Conrad Sangma also convened an emergency meeting the next day which was attended by Shylla and his cabinet colleagues Sniawbhalang Dhar and Coming Ymbon, besides the chief secretary and other senior officers.

The meeting took stock of the situation and decided to take immediate action to extend relief and other necessary assistance to the victims of the natural calamity in the form of Gratuitous Relief, tarpaulins and CGI sheets, Shylla said.

The department also issued instructions to all Deputy Commissioners to make detailed assessment of damage to dwelling houses, crops, horticulture crops, livestock and poultry and to submit reports as early as possible.

The District Administration in the affected Districts and sub divisions took action by distributing food items to over 2,500 families initially for a period of three days.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.