“Flash Flood Crisis Grips Sikkim: 77 Lives Lost, Ongoing Rescue Efforts”

“Flash Flood Crisis Grips Sikkim: 77 Lives Lost, Ongoing Rescue Efforts”

In the state of Sikkim, which was hit by floods, officials confirmed that 77 people have sadly lost their lives, as reported by Agence France-Presse on Sunday. Anilraj Rai, the state’s relief commissioner, shared that they have recovered 29 bodies from various parts of Sikkim as the rescue operations are ongoing.

The catastrophe occurred on October 3 when a high-altitude glacial lake burst, causing sudden floods. Although the water levels in the Teesta River have returned to normal after four days, the state still faces challenges with damaged roads, bridges, and communication networks. Many people are trapped due to the destruction.

Sikkim’s disaster control room has reported that more than 2,500 people stranded by the floods have been rescued. About 3,000 individuals in relief camps in the northern part of the state are waiting to be brought to safety, but bad weather has delayed airlift rescues.

Meanwhile, in North Sikkim’s Chungthang, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) rescue team successfully used a ropeway to save 56 civilians, including 52 men and 4 women, on Sunday.

In the neighboring state of West Bengal, the Jalpaiguri district police have found 48 more bodies, and more than 100 people are still missing, according to official records.

On Sunday, the Union Minister of State for Home Affairs (MoS), Ajay Kumar Mishra, met with Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang at his home in Gangtok to discuss the flash floods. CM Tamang expressed gratitude for the support of the Central government during this difficult time.

He mentioned that power has been restored in some areas, and they are working with the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) and other departments. CM Tamang thanked the Government of India for promptly providing funds to the Sikkim government.

MoS Ajay Kumar Mishra reassured Sikkim of the Centre’s support and acknowledged the extensive damage to roads and infrastructure in the state. He stated that a team of representatives from various ministries has been formed to help restore normalcy.

Officials from the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been sent to the affected areas. Union Home Minister Amit Shah has released funds for the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and promised assistance to the NDRF.

This inter-ministerial Central team, comprising senior officers from five ministries, will visit the state today. Their task is to assess the situation on the ground, evaluate the damage, and provide assistance where needed, according to the Ministry of Home Affairs.

A Heroic Rescue Mission: Saving Stranded Tourists in Lachen and Lachung

A Heroic Rescue Mission: Saving Stranded Tourists in Lachen and Lachung

In the vast and peaceful landscapes of Lachen and Lachung in Sikkim’s Mangan district, a devastating flash flood struck, leaving more than 3,000 tourists stranded and in need of urgent help. This article takes a detailed look at the inspiring rescue and relief operations undertaken to ensure the safety of those affected.

The Brave Efforts of the Indian Air Force

When disaster struck, the Indian Air Force sprang into action, making courageous attempts to rescue the stranded tourists using Mi-17 helicopters. However, the turbulent weather conditions in Bagdogra and Chaten posed severe challenges, with low-lying clouds and poor visibility making it unsafe to fly. Despite these obstacles, the unwavering dedication of the Indian Air Force personnel shone through as they continued their valiant efforts.

Battling the Ravages of Nature: Damaged Roads

The flood left a trail of destruction, severely damaging the roads leading to Lachen and Lachung. This made it nearly impossible for rescue teams to reach the stranded tourists. To overcome this hurdle, alternative routes via Dzongu were being explored, highlighting the relentless determination to find a way to provide help.

Teesta Urja: A Ray of Hope

Amid the chaos, Teesta Urja emerged as a savior. They generously provided a helicopter for rescuing tourists and delivering essential supplies to the Chungthang area. Their swift response played a pivotal role in alleviating the distress of those in dire need.

ITBP’s Heroic Mission

The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) swiftly mobilized a team to the affected region, embarking on a mission of relief and rescue in Chungthang. Their expertise in handling challenging situations proved invaluable, offering solace to the distressed and stranded tourists.

Weather Forecast: A Glimpse into the Future

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) provided a weather forecast specifically for the Mangan district. According to their predictions, light to moderate rainfall is expected across most areas in the district over the next five days. Furthermore, Lachen and Lachung are anticipated to experience generally cloudy to overcast skies during this period. These forecasts serve as crucial information for ongoing rescue operations, enabling teams to plan and adapt to changing conditions effectively.

NDRF and State Agencies: Tireless Efforts

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams, working in conjunction with state agencies, have been relentlessly conducting rescue operations in areas such as Singtam, Bardang, and Rangpo. Nevertheless, reaching the upper reaches of North Sikkim, including Chungthang, Lachen, and Lachung, has been fraught with significant challenges.

On-the-Ground Assessment

Recognizing the importance of real-time information, small teams comprising senior government officers embarked on a challenging trek from Mangan to Chungthang. Their mission is to assess the extent of damage and provide vital updates to the state government. This courageous effort ensures that decision-makers have accurate, on-the-ground intelligence to guide rescue and relief efforts effectively.

Reinforcements on the Way

In a heartening display of unity, more rescue teams, including personnel from the India Reserve Battalion, are en route to Chungthang. Their presence promises additional support and resources for those in need.

Chungthang’s Ordeal

Chungthang, at the epicenter of the flash flood in the Teesta river, endured significant devastation. Initial reports from rescue teams on the ground indicate that nearly 80 percent of the town has been affected by the flash flood. This catastrophe underscores the urgent need for coordinated rescue and relief efforts.

The Catastrophic Trigger

The flash flood in the Teesta river was triggered by a cloudburst over Lhonak Lake in North Sikkim during the early hours of Wednesday. This devastating event claimed the lives of 27 individuals, including eight Army personnel, and left 141 people missing. The aftermath of the flood resulted in extensive damage, including the destruction of more than 1,200 houses and the washing away of 13 bridges in the picturesque Himalayan state.

In conclusion, the heroic efforts of various agencies, organizations, and individuals have come together in a display of unwavering determination and resilience in the face of adversity. The rescue and relief operations in Lachen and Lachung are a testament to the indomitable human spirit, working tirelessly to ensure the safety and well-being of those affected by the flash flood.

President Biden Celebrates Labor Day in Philadelphia, Emphasizing Union Importance and Economic Recovery

President Biden Celebrates Labor Day in Philadelphia, Emphasizing Union Importance and Economic Recovery

President Joe Biden, often touting himself as the most pro-union president in history, made his presence felt at the annual Tri-State Labor Day Parade in Philadelphia on Monday. The Democratic president delivered a speech highlighting the significance of unions in the United States and the nation’s ongoing recovery from the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

“This Labor Day, we’re celebrating jobs—good-paying jobs that allow you to raise a family, union jobs,” President Biden conveyed to the enthusiastic crowd on Monday.

As the U.S. continues to witness job growth and an increasing number of people re-entering the workforce, President Biden is keen to spotlight these positive trends as he looks ahead to his potential reelection bid in 2024.

“As we approach Labor Day, let’s pause to acknowledge that America is currently experiencing one of its most robust job-creating periods in history,” Biden remarked on Friday, following the announcement that the U.S. had added 187,000 jobs in August. This data serves as evidence of a resilient labor market despite the Federal Reserve’s imposition of high interest rates.

The Labor Department’s report from Friday also revealed a rise in the unemployment rate from 3.5% to 3.8%, marking the highest level since February 2022. However, this increase was driven by a positive factor: 736,000 individuals reentered the job market in the previous month, the most significant influx since January. It’s essential to note that only those actively seeking employment are counted as unemployed.

“People are coming off the sidelines and returning to the workforce,” President Biden emphasized.

At the Tri-State Labor Day event in Philadelphia, hundreds of union workers, proudly displaying their local union attire, including the Sheet Metal Workers, United Food and Commercial Workers, Stagehands, and others, gathered on a warm and humid morning to hear the president’s address.

Lenny Nutter, a resident of Philadelphia wearing a Laborers International Union shirt, attended the event to show support for the President. He noted that unions have become more active, in part due to the policies implemented by President Biden.

“Unions are growing, and more work opportunities have been provided to union workers,” Nutter remarked.

President Biden has taken various executive actions to promote worker organizing, publicly endorsed unionization efforts at major corporations like Amazon, and authorized federal funding to bolster union members’ pensions. Just last week, his administration proposed a new rule that could make 3.6 million more U.S. workers eligible for overtime pay, marking one of the most significant increases in decades.

Additionally, President Biden has traveled the country, emphasizing how union labor is contributing to infrastructure projects such as building bridges and improving train tunnels, as part of the bipartisan $1.1 trillion public works package passed by Congress in 2021.

“Unions elevate standards across industries and the entire workforce, raising wages and enhancing benefits for all,” President Biden emphasized on Friday. “I’ve said it many times: Wall Street didn’t build America. The middle class built America, and unions built the middle class.”

The 36th annual Tri-State Labor Day Parade and Family Celebration is organized by the Philadelphia AFL-CIO, a coalition of over 100 local labor unions representing more than 150,000 workers, according to their website.

Chinese President Xi Jinping Likely to Skip G20 Summit in India, Premier Li Qiang Expected to Attend

Chinese President Xi Jinping Likely to Skip G20 Summit in India, Premier Li Qiang Expected to Attend

According to sources familiar with the matter in both India and China, Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to skip the upcoming G20 summit of world leaders in India, scheduled for September 9-10. Instead, Premier Li Qiang is likely to represent Beijing at the event.

Despite inquiries, spokespersons for both the Indian and Chinese foreign ministries have not provided official comments or confirmations regarding Xi’s absence.

The G20 summit in India had been seen as a potential opportunity for Xi Jinping to meet with U.S. President Joe Biden, who has confirmed his attendance. The two superpowers have been striving to mend their relations, which have been strained by various trade and geopolitical issues. The last meeting between Xi and Biden occurred on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, in November of the previous year.

In addition to Xi’s expected absence, Russian President Vladimir Putin has already declared that he will not travel to New Delhi, choosing instead to send Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as his representative.

A senior Indian government official involved in hosting the summit stated, “We are aware that the premier will come,” referring to Premier Li Qiang as the likely representative for China in place of Xi.

Sources in China, including foreign diplomats and government officials from other G20 countries, have also suggested that Xi will not be attending the summit. However, they did not have information on the specific reasons for his expected absence.

All sources provided this information on condition of anonymity, as they were not authorized to speak to the media.

The anticipation of a potential meeting between Xi Jinping and Joe Biden has been fueled by multiple high-level U.S. officials visiting Beijing in recent months, including a recent trip by Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.

Another upcoming summit that has been proposed for a face-to-face meeting between the two leaders is the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders Meeting in San Francisco, scheduled for November 12-18.

Xi Jinping, who secured a precedent-breaking third term as China’s leader in October of the previous year, has made few overseas trips since China eased strict pandemic-induced border controls earlier this year. However, he did participate in a meeting with leaders of the BRICS group of major emerging economies (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) in South Africa just last week.

Union Minister Meenakshi Lekhi Expresses Concern Over Surge in Anti-Sanatana Dharma Statements, Attributes Them to ‘Mental Bankruptcy

Union Minister Meenakshi Lekhi Expresses Concern Over Surge in Anti-Sanatana Dharma Statements, Attributes Them to ‘Mental Bankruptcy

Union Minister Meenakshi Lekhi has responded to Tamil Nadu Minister Udhayanidhi Stalin’s recent statement regarding the “eradication of Sanatana Dharma.” Expressing her concern, Lekhi has attributed the surge in such reactions to what she perceives as a form of mental bankruptcy.

Lekhi argued that these reactions are coming from individuals who not only lack an understanding of and respect for the traditions of Sanatana Dharma but also have limited knowledge of their own living heritage.

“The one who is steadfast in his statement is engaged in politics… He harbors hatred against Sanatana. This is not the first time that Hindu society has faced such hatred; it has persisted throughout history. However, today, people are not accepting this resistance. We are witnessing a surge in reactions because this kind of mental bankruptcy is prevalent among those who show disrespect towards Sanatana traditions and possess minimal knowledge of their own living heritage,” she remarked.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell appeared to freeze for about 30 seconds on Wednesday while speaking with reporters after a speech in Covington, Kentucky.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell appeared to freeze for about 30 seconds on Wednesday while speaking with reporters after a speech in Covington, Kentucky.

The incident at the US Capitol late last month and is likely to raise additional questions about the fitness of the 81-year-old to lead the Senate Republican caucus.

A spokesman for McConnell told CNN that the Kentucky Republican “felt momentarily lightheaded and paused during his press conference today.” A McConnell aide added: “While he feels fine, as a prudential measure, the leader will be consulting a physician prior to his next event.”

He later attended a fundraiser for Rep. Jim Banks, who is running for a Senate seat in Indiana – a sign of how he carried on with his schedule as questions persisted Wednesday about his health.

McConnell, the leader of the Senate Republican caucus since 2007, has faced questions about his health throughout the year. He was treated for a concussion and fractured rib after falling at a hotel in Washington in March, returning to the Senate several weeks later.

In late July, McConnell froze for 30 seconds during a news conference on Capitol Hill. At the time, his office said the Kentucky Republican was “lightheaded” and Republicans later said that he was dehydrated. Speaking to reporters after the incident, McConnell insisted he was “fine.”

McConnell and his top deputy, Senate Republican Whip John Thune, spoke Wednesday afternoon after the incident.