Sikkim Flash Flood: Lives of three thousand tourists depend on a bamboo bridge in Sikkim, people stranded after deluge

Sikkim Flash Flood: 150 people crossed the bridge on the first day. ITBP rescued 56 workers with the help of rope and 6 workers trapped in the tunnel were saved. After the deluge of October 4, the area of North Sikkim was cut off from the entire world. The Union Minister of State for Home held a meeting with the Chief Minister and announced all possible help from the Center for normalcy in the four districts.

Oct 9, 2023 - 11:24
Sikkim Flash Flood: Lives of three thousand tourists depend on a bamboo bridge in Sikkim, people stranded after deluge

After the deluge in North Sikkim, the work of rescuing and providing relief to the tourists, workers, and local people stranded there is going on. A total of 206 people were rescued from areas without road connectivity on Sunday.

Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) has safely rescued 56 civilians trapped in Chungthang with the help of ropes and taken them to relief camps. These include 52 men and four women. So far, only one bamboo bridge has been built to save more than three thousand tourists stranded in different areas of Sikkim. With this help, 150 people could be brought across.

On Monday, a campaign will be launched to evacuate other tourists and workers with the help of this bamboo bridge. All the bridges in this area have been washed away. Roads have also been broken. After the disaster, 33 bodies have been found so far in Sikkim alone. On Sunday, one body was found in Namchi and two in Pakyong district. More than 52 bodies washed away in the Teesta River have been removed from different areas of Bengal.

According to the reports lodged with the state administration till Sunday, the number of missing people has reached 105. Due to bad weather, the helicopters hired by the Air Force and Sikkim Government are not able to take off.

On the other hand, Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Kumar Mishra, who was in Sikkim for three days, held a meeting with Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang on Sunday morning. Both reviewed the disaster situation and relief and rescue operations in the state. He also visited some areas of North Sikkim and met the victims. Said that houses should not be built again on the banks of Teesta. The victims have started getting financial help from the Chief Minister's Relief Fund and other funds.

On the fifth day after the accident, the operation to rescue thousands of people trapped in Lachung, Lachen, and Chungthang of North Sikkim could be started. Local citizens along with ITBP, Indian Army personnel, Indian Reserve Battalion, Sikkim Police, and BRO have built the bamboo bridge.

In Chungthang, 150 people including five foreigners, seven domestic tourists, and a tour guide were brought across with the help of a thirty-meter-long temporary bridge made of bamboo and wood. Migrant workers stranded in Kateng, Mushithank, and Muguthang reached Chungthang on Sunday after two days of walking. An NDRF team had reached Chungthang on Saturday. On Sunday, another team has been sent from Gangtok to North Sikkim.

Sikkim State Disaster Management Authority (SSDMA) officials said special radar, drones, and army dog squads have been deployed for the search operation. National Highway 10, which is considered the lifeline of Sikkim, has not been fully operationalized yet due to being washed away at many places and broken bridges. A repair operation is going on between Rangpo and Singtam. Alternative routes to the state capital Gangtok are open through the East Sikkim district.

Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) soldiers came as angels for six people trapped in the tunnel of the Chungthang Teesta Hydroelectric Project. More than 14 laborers were stranded after the sudden flood. The soldiers rescued six of them on Saturday.

Muskan Kumawat Journalist & Writer