23 killed in storms and lightning

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At least 23 people have died in storms and lightning strikes in the past few weeks in Assam, as it has taken more lives in the Cyclone Phoni in Orissa, the Assam Government source said.

According to the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) storms and lightning have also affected around 22,801 families in 18 districts of the state in the current year.

The worst-hit districts are Golaghat, Sivasagar, Dhubri, Sontipur and Cachar. While ten persons died in the storms, 13 persons have died after being struck by lightning, the ASDMA said.

As a precautionary measures, the state government has directed all the deputy commissioners (DCs) to release ex-gratia of Rs 4 lakh to the next of kin of each of the deceased persons within 48 hours.

The DCs of the storm-affected districts have also been directed to take immediate steps for assessing the loss of property.

The norms stipulate that rehabilitation grant should be released for pucca or kutcha houses at the rate of Rs 95,100 in the plains and Rs 1,01,900 in the hilly areas.

For each of the partially damaged pucca houses the rehabilitation grant should be released at the rate of Rs 5,200, while for each of the partially damaged kutcha houses it should be at the rate of Rs 3,200.

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