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14 Dead, 102 Missing In Sikkim Flash Flood

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Gangtok: The Sikkim Government confirmed that 14 people have died so far in the flash floods that occurred in Sikkim in the early hours of Wednesday. The 14 deceased are all civilians while 102 people are still missing.

Over 3,000 tourists are feared to be stranded in different parts of the State. 12-14 workers working in the Teesta Stage 3 dam in Chungthang are still stranded in the tunnels of the dam.

Injuries and persons missing have been reported from Chungthang in Mangan district, and Dikchu, Singtam in Gangtok district and Rangpo in Pakyong district.

As per the information shared by the Sikkim Chief Secretary VB Pathak, he informed, “The Lhonak lake received a cloud burst around 10:42 pm on Tuesday night. Thereafter the lake breached its embankment and made its course towards Teesta river. Soon different parts of the Teesta basin reported a rise in water, with particularly alarming levels in Chungthang where the Teesta Stage 3 dam was breached.”

“There are 12-14 workers still stranded in the tunnels of the dam. Collectively across the State, 26 people have been reportedly injured and rushed to the hospitals. While 23 Army personnel in Bardang are still missing. They had a convoy vehicle which was parked adjacent to the highway which got submerged in the sludge,” added Pathak.

The State government has asked for three (3) extra platoons of the National Disaster Response Force, which the Central government has approved. There is one platoon of NDRF already in service in Rangpo and Singtam towns.

One such upcoming platoon of NDRF will be airlifted to Chungthang for rescue operations. It is assumed that over 3,000 domestic and foreign tourists are stranded in the State currently. Similarly, food and civil supplies will be taken to Chungthang once the weather improves for air connectivity, as per the official report.

Meanwhile, the State officials feared ration shortages in the State. Necessities from Siliguri, Bailey bridges will be laid by the Indian Army and National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL), informed the State Chief Secretary.

Even the police station in Chungthang has been destroyed. Chungthang and most of North Sikkim have disrupted mobile network connection as the fibre cable lines were also being destroyed by the flash floods in Sangkalan and Toong in Mangan district, according to the official report.

The State government has set up 18 relief camps in Singtam, Rangpo, Dikchu and Adarsh Gaon which have faced most of the damages. However, due to a lack of connectivity with Chungthang, the relief camps there are being set up by the Indian Army and other paramilitaries.

South Lhonark lake, situated in North West Sikkim, witnessed a cloud burst causing incessant monsoon rainfall on Wednesday morning. The flowing flash flood made its way through River Teesta sweeping Indreni Bridge in Singtam town, some 30 kilometres from Gangtok informed Gangtok District Administration. Another connecting bridge of Balutar hamlet was also swept away around 4 am.

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