Sikkim received about 41 mm of rain between 8 am on Tuesday and Wednesday, nearly five times the normal rainfall expected during this period, rainfall data from the India Meteorological Department showed. In fact, South Sikkim received rainfall that was 33 times more than normal and East Sikkim received 15 times more rainfall in 24 hours. The IMD has forecast more rainfall so far.
Sikkim’s connectivity with the capital Gangtok was severed on 4th October Wednesday, when waters of the overflowing Teesta river swept away parts of the NH-10 that connects the state to the rest of the country. River water rose to more dangerous levels after a cloudburst triggered flash floods in Sikkim.
The Sikkim state government has declared Wednesday’s incident a ‘disaster’. State Disaster Management Act is applicable to deal with flood situations.
Tourists and common people have suffered due to isolated communication system in the hills. Based on the information received from various tour operators, the police administration is trying to contact the stranded tourists. But lack of electricity connection is the biggest drawback of communication.
Around 3,500 tourists from West Bengal along with hundreds of tourists from other states were stranded in Sikkim on Wednesday October 4 due to flash floods in the Lachen Valley of North Sikkim by the Teesta and its tributaries. With internet and phone connections down, relatives had little success in contacting them till late Wednesday night. Many tourists are trapped in the IBM building in Rangpo. If the weather improves, it is planned to drop tourists by helicopter. According to Sikkim administration, at least 14 bridges have collapsed in this terrible disaster. In this situation, returning tourists is seen as a big challenge.
Heavy weapons and army vehicles were washed away by Teesta river in Sikkim due to flash floods. 41 vehicles were completely swept away. A few vehicles have been recovered. But the rest of the car went under the silt. The condition of the recovered vehicles is also appalling. According to the army, a lot of weapons were washed away in the water. They too could not be recovered. Two units of the National Disaster Force Team have been deployed at Ghazal Dooba to recover the bodies.
Sikkim in disaster. The death toll is increasing. 17 dead, 32 injured. About 126 are missing. 22 relief camps have been opened. More than two thousand people have been rescued. Out of the 23 Army Jawans who were missing, one was rescued 4-oct, 2023. The rest have not yet been found.
he Sikkim administration said the disaster occurred due to cloud-breaking rains in Mangan area of North Sikkim. Several helpline numbers have been opened for assistance in the Chungthang area. Tourists stranded in various areas including North Sikkim can also call these numbers +91-9144433310, 9733533000, 9733007083, 9733055521, 9434467236, 9434020017.
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