Uprooted trees, blocked roads, washed away bridges, crumbled homes, sludge gushing in, and massive trails of destruction – these horrific visuals came in from Sikkim, a day after a cloud burst-led flash floods wreaked havoc across the state.
Several parts of the mountain state have been cut off from the rest of the country as the waters of the swollen Teesta River, flowing downstream from Sikkim to Bengal, washed away everything in its path – homes, bridges, trees, people, and a part of the Teesta Dam at Chungthang.
The dam is the biggest hydropower project in the state.
In fresh visuals from the dam today, the cliffs remained dangerously exposed. The trees that held on to the soil for decades have been uprooted, making the area extremely vulnerable to erosion and collapse.
Videos showed thick sludge hitting the walls of the dam before flowing downstream, devastating homes on the way. The roads cutting through the mountains on either side are completely blocked by fallen trees and the collapsed parts of the dam.
The control room is seen hanging dangerously from the side of the road, most of which has been eroded.
The 88.6 metre-high dam had a control room at the top. Now there are only uprooted trees, debris, and remnants of the structure on the structure.
A large portion of the dam’s wall was seen missing in visuals that came in Wednesday as the Teesta River flowed unrestrained in north Sikkim’s Mangan district. The cloudburst over the Lhonak Lake in the northern part of the state caused the flooding of the river.
One of the employees working at the dam was killed. His body was recovered from the control room of the dam around 10 am today, almost 40 hours after the flash flood struck. He was stuck inside the control room which is on the dam.
As many as 14 people have died and 102, including 22 Army personnel, are missing. According to a government official, 14 bridges have collapsed and over 3,000 tourists are reportedly stranded in various parts of the state.