Six soldiers are among 19 dead in the Sikkim flash floods, sources said today. Over 100 including 16 soldiers are missing and 3,000 tourists are stranded. Over 2,500 people have been evacuated so far, and 6,000 have been moved to relief camps.
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The state government has asked tourists not to come to Sikkim at the moment. The government also issued an advisory over the possibility of explosives and ammunition washed away from an army camp in the flash floods.
The Power Ministry said it will make a detailed assessment of damage to hydropower projects in Sikkim after the flood water recedes.
The state-owned hydropower giant NHPC is taking all possible measures to get the hydropower projects operational at the earliest, the ministry said, adding they are continuously monitoring the situation arising out of flash floods in the Teesta basin.
Due to flash floods in the Teesta basin on the intervening night of October 3 and 4, all the bridges downstream to Teesta-V hydropower station up to Tarkhola and Pamphok have been submerged or washed away.
Presently, the power station is under shutdown and not generating electricity. NHPC has timely evacuated manpower from all its projects and ensured that they are shifted to safer places.
The state administration has requested those stranded in the flood-hit Mangan district not to panic as the authorities would start an evacuation process from Friday.
National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) platoons are also ready in North Sikkim to start the evacuation process for the local people.
Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang visited Singtam, one of the worst affected areas, and reviewed the situation. “Our dedicated teams are working day and night to address the immediate concerns and challenges posed by this calamity. I urge the administration, local authorities, all organisations, and individuals to join hands in a spirit of solidarity and cooperation,” Mr Tamang said.
The flash floods destroyed 11 bridges in the state, of which eight bridges were washed away in Mangan district alone. Two bridges were destroyed in Namchi and one in Gangtok. Water pipelines, sewage lines and 277 houses, both kuchcha and concrete, have been destroyed in four districts.
The flash flood in the Teesta river, triggered by a cloudburst in Lhonak Lake in North Sikkim, caused an accumulation of a huge quantity of water, which turned towards Chungthang dam, destroying the power infrastructure before moving downstream in spate, flooding towns and villages.
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