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Sikkim Lake Burst: 3,000 stranded in Lachen-Lachung to be evacuated

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Gangtok (Sikkim) | October 6, 2023 10:45:06 AM IST
As many as 3,000 people including tourists, drivers and motorcyclists have been stranded in Lachen and Lachung areas after a glacial lake situated in the northwest state burst due to incessant rains and triggered flash floods in the region on October 4, said Sikkim Chief secretary.

Sikkim Chief Secretary, Vijay Bhushan Pathak also informed that all the stranded people would be evacuated from the areas with the help of Army and Air Force helicopters.

"As per the checkpost data available, around 3,000 people are stranded in Lachen and Lachung. These include 700-800 drivers and 150 people who have gone there on motorcycles. We will evacuate all with helicopters of the Army and Air Force. Army made those who are stuck in Lachen and Lachung speak to their families through voice over internet," Pathak told ANI.

The State Disaster Management Authority informed that at least 19 people have died in the flash floods in Sikkim.

The search for the missing people is now focussing on the areas downstream of Teesta River. Search and rescue efforts are continuing to locate the missing Army soldiers in Sikkim.

The search for the missing Indian Army soldiers continues with the search focussing in the downstream in areas of Teesta Barrage. At the site of incident at Burdang near Singtam, the army vehicles are being dug out and stores being recovered. Additional resources in terms of teams of TMR (Tiranga Mountain Rescue), tracker dogs, special radars have been brought in, to assist in the search operations.

Meanwhile, Troops of TriShakti Corps Indian Army have been able to take account of 1471 tourists present the areas of Lachen/Chatten, Lachung and Chungthang.

With the weather improving on October 6, there may be a window of opportunity for evacuation of stranded tourists by Helicopters. The same is being planned jointly by the State Government, Indian Army and Indian Air Force.

Survey is being carried out by all agencies to assess the damage and plan restoration of road connectivity. The road link between Singtam and Burdang has been restored with the clearing of a single lane for vehicular traffic

Indian Army is also providing assistance in terms of food, medical aid and extending communication facility to civilians and tourists stranded in North Sikkim.

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

The State government has asked for three 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.

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 Lhonak 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 . (ANI)

 
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