At least 23 Army personnel are feared missing following a flash flood in the Teesta River in the Lachen valley, according to reliable sources awaiting confirmation of the defence wing in that area, about 107 km north of Gangtok.
The flash flood occurred owing to a cloud burst over Lake in North Sikkim.
” Some army establishments along the valley have been affected and efforts are on to confirm details,” sources added.
” Due to a sudden cloud burst over Lhonak Lake in North Sikkim, a flash flood occurred in the Teesta River in Lachen valley.
“Some army establishments along the valley have been affected and efforts are on to confirm details”, it said.
Release of water from the Chungthang dam led to a sudden increase in water level upto 15-20 feet high downstream, sources said.
This has led to Army vehicles parked at Bardang near Singtam getting affected. Twenty-three personnel have been reported missing and 41 vehicles are reported submerged under the slush. Search operations are underway.
Darjeeling Lok Sabha Member Raju Bista informed Prime minister Narendra Modi describing the details about the ravaged condition of the Eastern Himalayan belt, including Sikkim, Darjeeling hills, Terai, Dooars and Sikkim which is braving the massive natural disaster the region is currently facing.
” I have reached out to Hon’ble Prime Minister and Hon’ble Home Minister, informing them about the current situation, and I have requested them to constitute a High Level Disaster Monitoring and Response Team for the
entire Sikkim, Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Jalpaiguri belt.’ he said.
Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Sikkim region has faced massive damages due to the glacial Lhonak Lake burst in North Sikkim. Across Sikkim, Darjeeling, Kalimpong where Teesta river flows, this has resulted in massive damages to infrastructure, properties, and human lives too.
” I request the people to stay away from the river if possible, and to lend a helping hand and space for those who are in need.”
He said he has been in constant touch with DM Kalimpong, NHPC officials and also NDRF teams. NH 10, which is the lifeline of the border regions of Kalimpong, parts of Darjeeling and Sikkim has been washed away in multiple places.
” I have been informed that one NDRF team is stuck on the way as the road has been completely washed out. Three NDRF teams are currently waiting in Siliguri for the weather to be cleared, so that they can attempt deployment in necessary areas using helicopters” Bista said.
” We will work together to coordinate rescue and relief efforts, and together, we will overcome this disaster. I will personally visit all the places and reach help where necessary.”