A devastating cloudburst in the Indian state of Sikkim has triggered flash floods, leaving 43 individuals, including 20 soldiers, missing. The local administration, along with the Army, has launched a massive search and rescue effort in an attempt to locate the missing people.
The Army’s Eastern Command issued a statement reporting the impact of the flash floods on establishments along the Lachen valley. “Release of water from the Chungthang dam led to a sudden increase in water level up to 15-20 feet high downstream. This has led to Army vehicles parked at Bardang near Singtam getting affected. 23 personnel have been reported missing, and some vehicles are reported submerged under the slush. Search operations are underway,” the statement revealed.
Heavy rainfall overnight in Sikkim resulted in a cloudburst over Lhonak Lake in north Sikkim, causing it to overflow and subsequently pushing up water levels in the Teesta river. The Teesta river flows through Sikkim and West Bengal before entering Bangladesh.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken note of the situation and assured support. He tweeted, “Spoke to Sikkim CM Shri @PSTamangGolay and took stock of the situation in the wake of the unfortunate natural calamity in parts of the state. Assured all possible support in addressing the challenge. I pray for the safety and well-being of all those affected.”
In response to the crisis, the Sikkim administration has issued a high alert for residents. Videos recorded by local residents and shared on social media depict roads washed away and the river in a state of spate.
Fortunately, no injuries have been reported thus far, but there has been significant damage to public property. Some individuals have also been reported missing in Singtam. Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang, during a visit to an affected area, stated, “Relief operations are on.”
The India Meteorological Department has issued a warning, noting that the Teesta river has swollen after the overflow of the lake in Sikkim’s Chungthang. “Low-lying areas such as Gazoldoba, Domohani, Mekhaliganj, and Ghish may be affected. Please be alert,” the weather office advised.
The situation in Sikkim remains critical as rescue teams work tirelessly to locate and aid the missing individuals.
Sources By Agencies