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.