New Delhi: Officials have said that 14 people have died and 102 people, including 22 army personnel, are missing due to heavy flooding in the Teesta river in Sikkim state.
Sikkim state received heavy rain last night. In North Sikkim, a cloudburst occurred in the Lonak Lake region near the Nepal border, causing severe flooding in the Teesta River, which flows through Sikkim and West Bengal into Bangladesh. Subsequently, the water level in Teesta river suddenly rose to a height of 20 feet at 1.30 am yesterday due to the release of water from the Sangdhang dam there.
As a result, the footbridge across the Teesta River and the Sikkim-West Bengal highways were washed away in the Lachan Valley. The army camp on the shore was also washed away by the floods. 102 people, including 23 soldiers and local residents, are missing in the flood. The military vehicles parked here were submerged in the mud. Officials of the Sikkim State Disaster Management Authority said that 14 bodies have been recovered from various areas including Singhtam. The death toll is feared to rise as many people remain missing. The search for the missing people caught in the flood is going on in full swing.
In a news release from the Indian Meteorological Department, the lake in the Sikkim Changdhang region is overflowing due to heavy rains. Low-lying areas like Kajolthoba, Thomahani, Megaliganj and Kish are likely to be affected. “People should be cautious,” it said.
ISRO has conducted a study and issued a report on this sudden flood. The National Remote Sensing Centre, one of ISRO’s centres, carried out a satellite-based study of the eruption of South Lonak Lake in Sikkim. “The lake has burst. An area of about 105 hectares has been flooded, causing flash flooding in the downstream areas,” ISRO said.
In a statement released by the Disaster Management Authority of India, “It has been reported that heavy rains and cloudbursts in Sikkim have caused major flooding in Lonak Lake. The Sikkim government has released helpline numbers following the floods.
Separate helpline numbers have been provided for Gangtok, Namsi, Mankan, Pakyong, Soreng, Gyalshing. Tourists can contact the number 7001911393 to report their disappearance,” it said.